“Water is Life”

September 3, 2008

ARRAKEEN – The Guardian reports on an ambitious terraformation project by “dry-land ecologists” involving combination desalination evaporator/condensers and greenhouses to provide water, crops, and help counter deserts and desertification in North Africa. Information on the technology can be found at the Seawater Greenhouse website. [I cannot help but call the people who would work there “moisture farmers”].

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In my reflection and study in search of the candidate who wins my vote, I have realized this election is very tricky, with none of the candidates clearly standing out. Yet in reflecting on the failures of the current administration, I have written a four sets of key questions I am asking myself in regard to each:

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Perhaps it is the forum moderator in me, but while reading through other blogs’ comments in regards to the various events and actions of the major-party campaigns, I have gotten really frustrated seeing the eternal “liberal-conservative” name-calling by extremists on either side, accusing the other of having such descriptors. Perhaps, to me at least, it seems that the labels of “liberal” and “conservative”are not only misused, but only describe a minority of people’s views. I myself am a “moderate” ideologically on that particular spectrum, having my own set of beliefs obtained by study and pondering of issues – as do I assume a great many more Americans than are given credit for, and are under-represented in much political discussion as a result.

Thus I present the following the following theorems (their proofs not included for brevity), in a post that will bore most any Poli-Sci major as they have likely heard it all already.

A.) The whole scheme of political spectrum is not a dichotomy or trichotomy, and in most cases is not even a singular two-dimensional spectrum. [Even the original French model coined in relation to the Revolution had radicals and reactionaries on either end (which I think, though out of their original context, may be apt for many with strong opinions)]

B.) Not all those in support of a candidate share their views

C.) Not all those opposed to a candidate disagree with their views

D.) Two or more opposing candidates can have the same view on the same issue. (e.g. Karl Marx and Adam Smith both agreed on the importance of public education)

E.) There is a problem of relative/absolute alignment. (e.g. what is left of a reactionary (hyper-conservative) is not necessary liberal, it could still be conservative.)

F.) the set of beliefs under the descriptors “liberal-conservative” will differ with respect to time (and indeed at the same time)

G.) Parties are not always ideologically aligned with themselves with respect to time (e.g. political realignment occurs)

H.) politicians within one party are not always ideologically aligned at the same time (e.g. a Virginia Democrat politician could have equivalent in views to a Republican elsewhere)

Ergo, if, in the future any such namecalling occurs in any comment or response to a comment on this blog, I will, thusly noted ahead of time, REFUSE TO APPROVE IT. The exceptions being when used as an accurate descriptor for a particular set of views that are commonly accepted to be held under such, or when a person is proclaiming themselves as such, though both are rather generalizing.

Finally, that in simply calling someone “hippie,” “commie” or a “fascist”, or simply arguing based on accusation of “liberal” or “conservative”, not only are those ad hominum attacks logically fallacious, they are POORLY DONE ad hominum attacks (from a rhetoric point of view ;) ) – they make no claim as to why those things are even bad, let alone why such views would make their opponents arguments invalid.

Thus I appeal to the reader that logic (or at least compelling rhetoric!) and adequate descriptors must be used in any commentary hereafter on this blog, as it has been afore.