Re: Microsoft reserves all rights not expressly granted to you in this EULA.
From: Beth (BethStone21_at_hotmail.NOSPICEDHAM.com)
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2004 17:51:40 -0000
Robert Redelmeier wrote:
> Beth wrote:
> > Odd; I would have thought that a Constitutional Republic would
> > actually quite _like_ being a "democracy" rather than constantly
> > denying it all the time...this is far from the first Amerikaner
> > heard making this plea _against_ being "democratic", as if almost
> > running scared from it...as if it would be a "bad idea" or
> > something...
> Oh, but pure democracy _is_ a bad idea, except for most of
> the others (apologies to Churchill).
Actually, because it's relevent, Churchill said "_all_ of the
others"...but, in essence, yeah...quite right...it's the best "bad
idea" out of a bunch of even worse "bad ideas"...
> How can a pure democracy prevent tyrany of the majority?
It can't; In fact, democracy _is_ the tyranny of the majority...voting
is merely the act of determining what that majority is, in fact, to
give them the tyranny...
It is based on the presumption - although, there is no guarantee that
this is actually ever correct - that the "majority" will have the
right idea...but, hey, "consensus" isn't a bad starting point to
trying to work out how people can "just get along with each other"...
> The United States has various democratic institutions, each
> pitted against lethally the others, expressly designed to
> produce gridlock.
Yup, "checks and balances"...it's the inclusion of this stuff that is
what's most admirable about the American versions of "many democratic
elements" (sorry, forbidden to call it "democracy" outright, due to
earlier pedanticism ;)...this basic idea - though America took a small
idea and made into a really big idea and put the "checks and balances"
everywhere - was actually the main bit that America "loaned" from
Britain's Magna Carta...I guess a very sensible idea of "hey, let's
learn from _their_ mistakes - all those Europeans who went through
tons of wars and heartache to work these things out as being good
ideas - and we can start off our new system with, like, the
cutting-edge ideas of the Old World, basing it from the ground up on
'checks and balances', the enlightenment, etc., etc."...
Unfortunately - and this isn't just America...it happens everywhere
these days and the UK might actually be amongst the worst - the modern
attitude has kind of lost the essence of realising that these systems
and laws didn't magically spring overnight as someone's doctoral
thesis...they took a long time to evolve...you don't just throw out
the Constitution because it's a bit "inconvenient"...
You see, George Walker, this isn't like those drink driving laws you
broke...you know, pay the "kind" officer a bunch of notes and things
just "vanish" off your record...we're talking _principle_...a
principle is an immutable truth that applies universally...they are
kind of like the laws of physics: you can't break them, you can only
break yourself, America and the world _against_ them...
In ancient and older times, principles were fundamental...people would
subscribe fundamentally to their essential _personal character_...as
Aristotle would say: "People are what they repeatedly do. Excellence,
then, is not an act but a habit"...
But these days, some fools somewhere decided to declare "principles"
as "out of date" / "unfashionable"...as if it had just been "the new
black" in all that history before them and wasn't essentially
_timeless_ and _immutable_...what Aesop and Aristotle said all that
time ago _still_ applies...in fact, amusingly, it might make a whole
lot _more sense now_ saying these things aloud in the midst of King
Midases everywhere than it did when they said it...
What do you get these days? Superficial _nonsense_...you pick up the
magazines and it's about "the new black"...you should "power dress"
apparently...you pencil a schedule of "power smiling"...want people to
like you? Well, rather than concentrate on, well, being a likeable
person, you should essentially _deceive_ them...pretend your something
you're not superficially...I mean, stop and think about it...when they
advise "smile more and people will like you", there's no mention of
making yourself happy...so, like, it's NOT a real smile then? It's a
false smile to _fool_ people into liking you? Right, then expect this
advice to work for about a week until they realise that you're, in
fact, faking it all and are a miserable bugger in actual fact...
It's all superficial...it's all nonsense...it all _doesn't
work_...because it's trying to violate _principle_...I repeat,
principle is _immutable truth_...you can't avoid them...if you try,
then, in fact, you will, for sure, hit problems for doing so...
Have you seen tomorrow's magazines? Apparently, it's in the main
article, if you want gravity to stop pulling you down then you should
smile at the Earth a lot...if it still isn't listening, then you
should "power dress" to show the Earth that you really mean business
when you say you don't want gravity anymore...use a lot of "positive
thinking" at the Earth below your feet and you might be able to
"subconsciously influence" (nice euphamism for _deceive_, isn't it?
But check how many times these things _really_ do use that "if you
want people to like you, then _LIE_ to them" superficial, temporary
nonsense) the Earth to let go of you gravity-wise...
This is the essential nature of "principle", you
see..._immutable_...you'll have no more than _temporary_,
_superficial_ "success" - if you manage even that - by taking this
"the new black" attitude...
You can read in the magazine about "eat this", "do that" all you
like..."the new black" every single day, just to justify the
reporter's wages and to fill up the paper...but in Aristotle's time,
"balanced diet with regular exercise" was the way then and it's
_still_ the way today...while humans remain human, these things are
immutable truths to humanity itself...they don't actually change at
But, as I say, Bush or Blair wakes up one morning and acts as if the
constitutional systems were just something dreamed up overnight as
some student's doctoral thesis...so, like, sure, they can wander
along...ignore that, change this, violate that...and, like, they'll
get it right because, hey, look, Blair's _smiling_...he's "positive
thinking"...and, yup, he "power dresses", completely down to the
"remove your jacket to 'disarm' yourself and present a 'casual'
subconscious influence on your 'targets'" (Bush does the same...he was
so "casual" during Isreali / Palestinian talks before that, quite
frankly, he was risking being _offensive_...sort of "flopped" into his
chair, couldn't be bothered to dress all that smartly...so nice and
relaxed and "casual" - too much so - that he really did look like he
didn't give the slightest crap about any of it...doing that thing he
always did (recently, he's improved...an "advisor" must have done some
advising ;) of flopping over the podium as he gives a speech...I
suppose he was used to doing that from his alcoholic days...just
"flopping out" over things and people to help support him from falling
over all the time...an old habit he needs to work out of his routine
"Political correctness" and Liberalism went too far...this is
basically the backlash we're seeing now...the very typical "pendulum"
thing humans do: Swinging back and forth between extremes...the grand
deep, deep irony - because, in the end, it almost ends up as something
deeply ironic - is that with all this swinging back and forth,
everyone constantly misses the _balance_ in the middle, which is
actually where things should be going and, in a sense, all the
swinging back and forth ("Welcome immigrants to our New World!" /
"Immigrants are ruining the country! Chuck 'em out! Lock 'em up!! Kill
'em!!", per example), is actually _trying_ to get there but it always
goes too far...
It's quite amusing, really...it's like everyone is trying to head
towards the middle but because humans always do things by following
each other like blind sheep, the leader tries to take things into the
balanced middle and then everyone following along rushes, all excited,
and pushes the people at the front too far to the opposite extreme and
still following them, they keep going until they are at the opposite
extreme too...then, like, "crap, we've gone too far to the other
extreme...let's try once more"...and then the leader goes towards the
middle but, oh dear, the billions following behind push him all the
way back to the other extreme...and on and on this "pendulum" motion
happens...knowing that this is, unfortunately, part of human nature
itself, one wonders if there _is_ any kind of solution to this or
whether it'll always swing back and forth like this forever and,
instead, it's about "damage limitation" always...
> It also has a long and strong tradition
> of individual rights. Politicians control their own funds
> and are not behelden/whippable by parties.
Oh, yeah...that's kind of why I'm saddened by watching
developments...America had got such a whole bunch of things _right_
and really was, on those points, a "role model" to the world...but,
like, this is exactly the stuff we're seeing increasingly evaporate...
To be honest, the focus isn't on America because it's the worst or
anything...it's because America was kind of being looked at as being
the place where none of the usual nonsense from over here in the Old
World happened...it was, like, the example of the direction to be
headed...until Bin Laden ordered those planes into the WTC...indeed,
that moment changed the whole world because that was the day the music
died...indeed, it's was "bye, bye, American pie" on that day...and,
unfortunately, especially with Bush's reaction, the terrorists have
succeeded in one point...they dragged America into the hellhole of the
Old World...everything was sent backwards..."civilisation" was
attacked and the reaction shows that it was severely scarred and
harmed to the point that, suddenly, barbarism is justified once
Hence, a lot of the "anti-Americanism" criticism is actually, in some
measure, kind of like how if one brother in a family does
successfully, the other brothers criticise and keep that brother's
feet on the ground...done out of Love, in fact...even though the words
sound hateful on occasion...if you've got siblings then you probably
already understand this stuff and might even be guilty of exactly this
yourself...families do their family members NO special favours to each
other...which might sound odd but that's actually an act of Love...you
might become rich, go all over the world, change things, be idolised
by tons of people...but when you go home for the "family Christmas",
then nothing ever changes...they know you too well...so, everyone'll
be shouting over who carves the turkey and who gets which bit of
it...it's like that, in a very weird kind of sense...