My biggest gripe , and my only gripe, really, with the Oil Drum, was that many of the members who posted comments failed to take into consideration the very well known fact insulting or demeaning that person's culture, ethics, personal values, religious beliefs, or political affiliations, is about as effective as fighting a fire by throwing gasoline on it.
So we won't be badmouthing anybody here, excepting individuals and institutions who are on my own personal sxxtlist; this may seem unfair , but this is my blog, and I do believe in property rights. there are thousands of other blogs where you can insult Christians, poor white folks, dead white European males, social conservatives, and any other people you have it in for to your hearts content, and if those thousands are not enough, why then , feel free to start your own.
It is necessary , and proper, to point out the errors people have made in the past, and continue to make today, in order to advocate for change.This can be done in such a way as to lead those who disagree with you to gradually come around to seeing things your way, if you are willing to exercise a little care and imagination in choosing your words.
We live in country where political power is rather evenly divided in many respects. We consider a 51/ 49 election close; we call 55/45 a landslide. A good many people who habitually consider themselves either liberals or conservatives actually agree on a number of issues that the two dominant parties fight over tooth and claw. if you can win over just two or three voters out of a hundred, you can change the result from a loss for your side to a win.
I personally know a number of people who habitually vote republican because they believe people should be held responsible for their own welfare, or that they have a constitutional and god given right to own guns , or any of several more reasons.A quarter of them- older southern white guys- have good things to say for Obama these days because they smoke pot- and yes, in my estimation, a quarter of southern white guys who grew up in the sixties smoke pot today, at least occasionally. These people believe that what you do in private is your business, and not that of the government.There are bridges already up , such as this one, whereby people who were once strangers and enemies can come together. Flag burning hippies from the sixties share this ground with a lot of guys who believed that the right thing to do was to fight in Asia, and volunteered to do so.
People who believe in America being and remaining a militarily powerful nation can be induced to think about our dependence on imported oil as a threat to our long term national security, and consider the possibility that tough automobile fuel economy standards are a good thing for the country, rather than an unjustified attack on their personal economic freedom.
I believe in clean air and clean water laws; many people don't because they don't realize just how important to their own health, and the health of their children, such laws are. This lack of knowledge can be remedied, without alienating these same people by talking down to them .
People who believe that they are owed something by society simply because they are alive can perhaps be disabused of that notion. I believe in the arts for instance, but if somebody wants to drew pictures or dance all day, he is going to have a hell of a hard time convincing me he is any more entitled to being paid for doing so by the tax than I am to be paid to hunt and fish or raise apples.
So far as I am concerned, they can find patrons, or get a real job.
I believe in charity, where charity is truly needed, and justified , but I do not believe the vast majority of people who pay taxes should be taxed to make a gift of a stadium to the mega rich owners of professional sports franchises and the very small percentage of people who actually attend games.We would still have plenty of sports without a dime being spent to subsidize the owners or the fans.
Now whether you, dear reader, happen to agree with me, or don't in respect to the arts and sports, or any given issue , is not important to me, personally. what is important is that you understand my philosophy in respect to this blog.
I intend to use it as a tool to help move our society in what I consider the right direction. Bad mouthing people who can be brought around, gradually , to my way of thinking , won't get the job done.If you are an old TOD regular, you already know how I think, and it's very likely we agree on most issues relating to energy and the environment.
If you've just wandered here by accident, you are most cordially welcome. I believe you will find a great many things here , as the weeks go by, of interest to you, if you are in the habit of thinking for yourself.