I. Just. Can’t. Do. It.

 

I tried, honestly, I have, but I don’t think I can do it.

When I have a strong opinion about some political person or event, I am very aware that this feeling may be due in large part to media coverage.  Because of this, I search out something from ‘the other side’ to try to get a balanced perspective.

Jim Comey is the latest example of this quest.  I finally decided to read the first of his books, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.”  It is included with Amazon Prime, so the only commitment is my time.

It winds up, that is too much to ask of me.  Consider some of these quotes (if you can get past the title):

….. will America as we know it survive? People ask this question, with urgency and fear in their voices, because the forest fire of the Trump presidency I describe in this book still burns and threatens America’s values, especially our commitment to the truth and the rule of law.

To be clear, I don’t underestimate the threat. Donald Trump’s presidency represents a continuing frontal assault on the truth—on the very notion of “truth”—that began with the lie about his inauguration crowd being larger than Barack Obama’s. So many lies have followed that we risk becoming numb to them.

I feel the giant stirring now. The awakening is slow, but it is underway. Torches and death in Charlottesville. Children in cages at the border. The lying, misogyny, racism, and attacks on the rule of law. These things poke the giant. It takes time, but the American people are stirring.

There is one thought I can agree with, though:

WHO AM I TO TELL others what ethical leadership is? Anyone claiming to write a book about ethical leadership can come across as presumptuous, even sanctimonious. All the more so if that author happens to be someone who was quite memorably and publicly fired from his last job.

…and I haven’t even made it past the forwards and notes!  I don’t think my blood pressure can take any more.

Oh, well….. next on my list is “Covid 19: The Great Reset” by Klaus Schwab (of the World Economic Forum). Maybe I’ll do better with that…. Or just read what Mrs. Spring calls a “shoot ’em up” novel.

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  1. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Unbearable smugness.  I hope he didn’t collect any royalties from you.

    • #1
  2. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Quiz question: What does that writing have in common with pre-Renaissance painting?  

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I rarely read books from people I don’t trust, respect or believe in. For me, I consider it a waste of time. I suppose there are some people I would describe as favoring ideas from both sides, but they are rare; I don’t want to spend the time deciphering what is true or not. I’ll let you put in that work!

    • #3
  4. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I think you and I may approach this governing crisis in much the same way. I see you are a charter member and I’ve been here for almost nine years. I too try to be very selective regarding what information I accept as likely truthful. Actually, it’s much easier to discern the untruthfulness since it works just like the scientific method works, through falsification.

    It took me a while to get aboard the Trump train and that is not to suggest that I can or will accept all Trump puts forth as truthful or representing the correct or best ethical action. But I prefer to have someone who gets some things right by design and principle than  someone who gets everything wrong and does that deliberately.

    Comey is a minion. He may act independently at times and do the right thing. But when his own fortunes are at stake he will act accordingly and he spent a lot of his leadership time in corrupt administrations.

    Trump is not the only person who can lead America along the correct path. I’m sure some of us wonder how we got him. Maybe it was that very unusual personality trait that has driven so many of those on the other side to total distraction, so much so that they have done a total reveal. They think they are doing a reset, but I think it is a reveal. 

    • #4
  5. Dave L Member
    Dave L
    @DaveL

    “..terminating Comey was, in my opinion, long overdue…..Of the numerous former Republican DOJ officials consulted by Sessions…..after the election, every one of them, as far as I was aware gave the same advice–and for the same reason… It was because we all had come to believe the Comey’s high self-regard had swelled into an acute case of megalomania.”

    William Barr  ” One Damn Thing  After Another”

    • #5
  6. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Dave L (View Comment):

    It was because we all had come to believe the Comey’s high self-regard had swelled into an acute case of megalomania.”

    What American society, and the world,  faces though is more than bureaucrats, like Comey,  and elected officials, like Obama, developing major cases of megalomania. We have most of the major big tech barons, most of whom suddenly developed massive wealth, and turned very smart about all things(sarc). So we get all these modern technical capabilities but we also get massive stupid with megalomania there, too..

    • #6
  7. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Many years ago a friend of mine (opposite political views) and I each recommended the other read a book that we liked.  I recommended Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, and he recommended The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot by Naomi Wolfe.  Neither of us finished our book, and while I got further in Ms. Wolfe’s screed, it was a shorter one.  It did define just how far apart the basics of what we took as postulates for debate truly were.  We still can have conversations, but neither can stomach the writings that we read.  

    Comey’s book reminds me a lot of Wolfe’s in that people who want to believe him will love it and see it as the pure truth, while those that disagree will have their stomachs turn at his fabrications.

    • #7
  8. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    Dave L (View Comment):

    “..terminating Comey was, in my opinion, long overdue…..Of the numerous former Republican DOJ officials consulted by Sessions…..after the election, every one of them, as far as I was aware gave the same advice–and for the same reason… It was because we all had come to believe the Comey’s high self-regard had swelled into an acute case of megalomania.”

    William Barr ” One Damn Thing After Another”

    I wish Barr dealt with the “Damn Things” when they happened! and not waited for the book.

    • #8
  9. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    WillowSpring,

    Regarding…

    WillowSpring:

    …I search out something from ‘the other side’ to try to get a balanced perspective.

    …you wrote

    WillowSpring:

    I tried, honestly, I have, but I don’t think I can do it.

    I believe that you have the power within you to do it. Just not all at once.  Take it slow and be patient.  The more you practice the better you will get.  It’s a struggle between our higher nature, the ability that God gave us to reason, and our lower nature, our instinct for tribal aggression, submission, and defense; plus our ego telling us we have to always be right in order to deserve esteem.

     

    • #9
  10. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):
    Comey’s book reminds me a lot of Wolfe’s in that people who want to believe him will love it and see it as the pure truth, while those that disagree will have their stomachs turn at his fabrications.

    Thanks – this touches on something I can’t express as well.  There are two separate world views.  Limbaugh (IIRC) and now Bongino often say “We think they are good people with bad ideas, they think we are bad/evil people”

    There isn’t a lot of conversation to be had in that situation.

    • #10
  11. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Quiz question: What does that writing have in common with pre-Renaissance painting?

    Other than the fact that I don’t tend to like either, I don’t know??

     

    • #11
  12. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Believing another’s lies is one thing. Creating those lies is very much another. 

    This man (Comey) like many in DC is/are evil. 

    Romans chapter 1 pretty much covers these people. 

    • #12
  13. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    WillowSpring,

    Regarding…

    WillowSpring:

    …I search out something from ‘the other side’ to try to get a balanced perspective.

    …you wrote

    WillowSpring:

    I tried, honestly, I have, but I don’t think I can do it.

    I believe that you have the power within you to do it. Just not all at once. Take it slow and be patient. The more you practice the better you will get. It’s a struggle between our higher nature, the ability that God gave us to reason, and our lower nature, our instinct for tribal aggression, submission, and defense; plus our ego telling us we have to always be right in order to deserve esteem.

    Mark, what do you mean by “tribal”?

    • #13
  14. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    There are multitudes of books that I’ll never get around to reading; important and useful books. I limit my exposure to crazy leftist ideas by recording and watching Fox News Sunday followed by the CBS Sunday morning show and occasionally letting PBS radio into the car as we drive home from our workout. That’s about twice what Mrs. OS can stomach but it keeps me up on what the left is saying and the terms they are using so it seems to be worth the angst.

    • #14
  15. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    When Comey’s book was first released, I made up a fake page from it, showing how awful I imagined it would be. (A lot of people on Twitter fell for it, especially progressives.) It seems Comey’s actual prose was even worse.

    My version…

    .

    • #15
  16. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    WillowSpring,

    Regarding…

    WillowSpring:

    …I search out something from ‘the other side’ to try to get a balanced perspective.

    …you wrote

    WillowSpring:

    I tried, honestly, I have, but I don’t think I can do it.

    I believe that you have the power within you to do it. Just not all at once. Take it slow and be patient. The more you practice the better you will get. It’s a struggle between our higher nature, the ability that God gave us to reason, and our lower nature, our instinct for tribal aggression, submission, and defense; plus our ego telling us we have to always be right in order to deserve esteem

    I strongly disagree. Do not waste your precious time on earth on lies and the liars who tell them. Seek out the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. Not necessarily in that order. 

    James Comey is the worst law enforcement officer in my lifetime. He didn’t even give Felony Clinton a slap on the wrist for her betrayal of America’s national secrets to foreign enemies. The man is disreputable, and that’s the mildest criticism I could come up with. 

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jon Gabriel, Ed. (View Comment):

    When Comey’s book was first released, I made up a fake page from it, showing how awful I imagined it would be. (A lot of people on Twitter fell for it, especially progressives.) It seems Comey’s actual prose was even worse.

    My version…

    .

    This cracks me up, Jon! Very well done! It was likely what he imagined would happen!

    • #17
  18. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Quiz question: What does that writing have in common with pre-Renaissance painting?

    Other than the fact that I don’t tend to like either, I don’t know??

     

    prerenaissance painting was non-dimensional, flat, one sided view. 

    • #18
  19. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Quiz question: What does that writing have in common with pre-Renaissance painting?

    Other than the fact that I don’t tend to like either, I don’t know??

     

    prerenaissance painting was non-dimensional, flat, one sided view.

    No perspective.

    • #19
  20. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    WillowSpring,

    Regarding…

    WillowSpring:

    …I search out something from ‘the other side’ to try to get a balanced perspective.

    …you wrote

    WillowSpring:

    I tried, honestly, I have, but I don’t think I can do it.

    I believe that you have the power within you to do it. Just not all at once. Take it slow and be patient. The more you practice the better you will get. It’s a struggle between our higher nature, the ability that God gave us to reason, and our lower nature, our instinct for tribal aggression, submission, and defense; plus our ego telling us we have to always be right in order to deserve esteem

    I strongly disagree. Do not waste your precious time on earth on lies and the liars who tell them. Seek out the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. Not necessarily in that order.

    James Comey is the worst law enforcement officer in my lifetime. He didn’t even give Felony Clinton a slap on the wrist for her betrayal of America’s national secrets to foreign enemies. The man is disreputable, and that’s the mildest criticism I could come up with.

    I agree.  I once (during the 0bama years) had someone shout at me across the table, “Have you read the Koran?  Read the Koran!  Read the hadiths!”  And I said that I don’t need to read the whole Koran and all the interpretations of it.  I have enough to read of things that are true and beneficial.

    • #20
  21. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Quiz question: What does that writing have in common with pre-Renaissance painting?

    Other than the fact that I don’t tend to like either, I don’t know??

     

    prerenaissance painting was non-dimensional, flat, one sided view.

    No perspective.

    Not representative of reality. Cartoonish.

    • #21
  22. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I agree.  I once (during the 0bama years) had someone shout at me across the table, “Have you read the Koran?  Read the Koran!  Read the hadiths!”  And I said that I don’t need to read the whole Koran and all the interpretations of it.  I have enough to read of things that are true and beneficial?

    Not only that, but “by their fruit you will know them.” I know more than I ever wanted to about Islam since 9/11. When strict Islamist nations stop throwing gays off of buildings and start allowing women to show their faces and be educated, I’ll give Islam the time of day. Not now. Wish I’d never heard of the Koran or the hadiths. 

    • #22
  23. carcat74 Member
    carcat74
    @carcat74

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Unbearable smugness. I hope he didn’t collect any royalties from you.

    Hope it was in the ‘reject’ pile at the used bookstore, or ‘free’. The only way I would pick it up is with disposable gloves and tongs, and only to use it to sight in my .223….

    • #23
  24. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Willow – you started a poem – I’ll finish it:

    “It is included with Amazon Prime,

    so the only commitment is my time.”

    If I continue to order, is it a crime?

    To enrich Mr. Bezos one more dime?

    I ordered The Fourth Industrial Revolution by the nutball Klaus because they say keep your enemies closer……from Amazon – ugh.  It is worth reading.  Comey?  Ask for a refund!

    • #24
  25. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    WillowSpring,

    Regarding…

    WillowSpring:

    …I search out something from ‘the other side’ to try to get a balanced perspective.

    …you wrote

    WillowSpring:

    I tried, honestly, I have, but I don’t think I can do it.

    I believe that you have the power within you to do it. Just not all at once. Take it slow and be patient. The more you practice the better you will get. It’s a struggle between our higher nature, the ability that God gave us to reason, and our lower nature, our instinct for tribal aggression, submission, and defense; plus our ego telling us we have to always be right in order to deserve esteem.

    Mark, what do you mean by “tribal”?

    Our two natures give us motivation to action, and a method of determining right action.  Our lower nature is one with that of chimpanzees, or the wolf pack.  To these of his creatures, God did not give a higher nature.  He gave that only to man.

    Our lower nature consists partly of two instincts:

    • the individual instincts.  These govern
      • finding, killing, harvesting, and hoarding food
      • reproductive behavior–competing for a mate, etc.
      • establishing one’s rank (dominant or submissive) and role (expertise) in the social pecking order of the own tribe or pack
      • etc.
    • the tribal instincts.  These govern
      • effectively defending the tribe against predators and other tribes
      • establishing the own-tribe’s rank and role in the larger environment: which tribe will be exterminated and which will survive; which will dominate other tribes and which will submit; etc.

    These instincts (the tribal and the other) are both important to the survival of a republic.

    But a Godly republic cannot survive if there is only tribal and individual instinct. We need also moral and scientific reasoning.

    • #25
  26. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    WillowSpring,

    Regarding…

    WillowSpring:

    …I search out something from ‘the other side’ to try to get a balanced perspective.

    …you wrote

    WillowSpring:

    I tried, honestly, I have, but I don’t think I can do it.

    I believe that you have the power within you to do it. Just not all at once. Take it slow and be patient. The more you practice the better you will get. It’s a struggle between our higher nature, the ability that God gave us to reason, and our lower nature, our instinct for tribal aggression, submission, and defense; plus our ego telling us we have to always be right in order to deserve esteem

    I strongly disagree. Do not waste your precious time on earth on lies and the liars who tell them. Seek out the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. Not necessarily in that order.

    James Comey is the worst law enforcement officer in my lifetime. He didn’t even give Felony Clinton a slap on the wrist for her betrayal of America’s national secrets to foreign enemies. The man is disreputable, and that’s the mildest criticism I could come up with.

    Nothing about the idea that you thought I meant to express is what I meant, and I failed to express any part of what I actually was trying to say.

    So I give myself a communication grade of [1/2 * (effectiveness of communicating the idea I meant)] + [1/2 * (not communicating ideas that I didn’t mean and most certainly don’t agree with)]

    = 0 + 0

    = 0.

    Communication is hard.  That’s the biggest problem in every enterprise.

    • #26
  27. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    WillowSpring,

    Regarding…

    WillowSpring:

    …I search out something from ‘the other side’ to try to get a balanced perspective.

    …you wrote

    WillowSpring:

    I tried, honestly, I have, but I don’t think I can do it.

    I believe that you have the power within you to do it. Just not all at once. Take it slow and be patient. The more you practice the better you will get. It’s a struggle between our higher nature, the ability that God gave us to reason, and our lower nature, our instinct for tribal aggression, submission, and defense; plus our ego telling us we have to always be right in order to deserve esteem.

    Mark, what do you mean by “tribal”?

    Our two natures give us motivation to action, and a method of determining right action. Our lower nature is one with that of chimpanzees, or the wolf pack. To these of his creatures, God did not give a higher nature. He gave that only to man.

    Our lower nature consists partly of two instincts:

    • the individual instincts. These govern
      • finding, killing, harvesting, and hoarding food
      • reproductive behavior–competing for a mate, etc.
      • establishing one’s rank (dominant or submissive) and role (expertise) in the social pecking order of the own tribe or pack
      • etc.
    • the tribal instincts. These govern
      • effectively defending the tribe against predators and other tribes
      • establishing the own-tribe’s rank and role in the larger environment: which tribe will be exterminated and which will survive; which will dominate other tribes and which will submit; etc.

    These instincts (the tribal and the other) are both important to the survival of a republic.

    But a Godly republic cannot survive if there is only tribal and individual instinct. We need also moral and scientific reasoning.

    Oh.  So you mean something Cro-Magnon-like, anthropologically primitive, conscienceless, id-based and animalistic, not political factions and parties, philosophies, or morality and culture.

    I don’t think this was ever a part of being human.  Psychopathic abnormality, certainly, but nothing ever so crude.

    I think of tribes as being a hereditary clan, with an established hierarchical form of leadership, and a set moral and social structure, into which one can marry or be adopted.

    • #27
  28. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I don’t think this was ever a part of being human.

    Think about war.

    • #28
  29. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Quiz question: What does that writing have in common with pre-Renaissance painting?

    Other than the fact that I don’t tend to like either, I don’t know??

     

    Lack of perspective.

    • #29
  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Quiz question: What does that writing have in common with pre-Renaissance painting?

    Other than the fact that I don’t tend to like either, I don’t know??

     

    prerenaissance painting was non-dimensional, flat, one sided view.

    No perspective.

    We have a winner!

    • #30
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