Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Write Something Interesting

I will be taking a blogging holiday for a few days. Please write something interesting in my absence.


Caledonication said...

How about everyone's favorite quotes? Quotes that perhaps you like in particular, versus something that makes you upset? No one even needs critique other posters favorites, just appreciate the intrinsic quality of each quote. Feel free to ignore this suggestion if you prefer to post something else.

A couple of my favorites:

"No matter where you go, there you are."

"Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other guy to die."

"You've got one foot on yesterday, one foot on tomorrow and you are pissing all over today."

"Never forget that you are unique, just like everybody else."

Anonymous said...

Free Racine - I think the tax complainers on this blog want low wage workers to work in Racine for Free...

Anonymous said...

Like clockwork, anonymous fails to read the title and drops another turd.

Nemo said...

One of my favorite:

"Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil."

-Thomas Mann

Caledonication said...

I'm definitely adding that one to my list Nemo.

Ald. Helding said...

It has been suggested by some recently that Racine does not need a Mayor. I believe this suggestion is motivated by some who oppose the current Mayor. I would like to state my opposition to the concept of eliminating the position, no matter who holds the office currently.

I believe it is important to have someone whose job it is to lead the city's government and to make decisions on behalf of its citizens. To govern is to choose.

"We must spread the gospel that there is no gospel that will save us from the pain of choosing at every step. " -Justice Benjamin Cardozo, 1924

In other words, it is impossible to create a government policy or system that can address every possible situation and be fair to everyone. At some point, we have to make a choice. To govern is to choose.

Pope Benedict said something similar in his recent encyclical, 'Spe Salvi':

"Since man always remains free and since his freedom is always fragile, the kingdom of good will never be definitively established in this world. Anyone who promises the better world that is guaranteed to last for ever is making a false promise; he is overlooking human freedom. Freedom must constantly be won over for the cause of good. Free assent to the good never exists simply by itself. If there were structures which could irrevocably guarantee a determined—good—state of the world, man's freedom would be denied, and hence they would not be good structures at all."

In other words, we have to constantly work on making things better. We can never rest and say "Now we have it." Because of human freedom and changing conditions, we must always take a look at our structures, laws, systems, and policies. They need to be watched, evaluated, and updated. However, even when we do so, we will never be able to answer all the permutations of a problem with one solution. We will never finish the task. We will always have to work to make things better and we will always have to choose. At some point, choices need to be made.

"Do we allow religious displays on public property?"

"Do we grant a license or permit to this person or business?"

"Do we provide this service or levy this tax?"

"Do we pass this new law? Do we keep this old one?"
No matter how we try, we cannot remove subjectivity from the government. People in our government will always have to make decisions. Some are like those listed above. Some are less important. Some are far more important.

I believe that the people responsible for those decisions should be directly accountable to the people. On the local level, that means we should be led by an elected Mayor and Common Council.

Recharter the city - remove the Mayor said...

Actually Ald helding... we have no problem with the Mayor persoanlly... 12 cities in the state have eliminated the position... Manager/council works great... You on the other hand dont agree since you hope to run for Mayor and this idea would eliminate your political step up...

Ald. Helding said...

Can you address the ideological underpinnings of your position? I am familiar with the council-manager form of government. The manager is hired by the council, but is not elected. Council members come and go, but the manager can stay for a long time. I believe this removes a level of accountability from the manager position. The "buck" stops with an unelected person. I believe it should stop with an elected chief executive.

Recharter for the people! said...

the council makes the legislation and the manager enforces them. THe aldermen are elected and held responsible for their votes in the next election. That's where the buck really stops, how you as a member vote representing your constiuents, not some mayoral agenda. Like I said, you and a few others have issue since they wish to run for mayor and would hate for the position to be voted away by a vote from the public

Ald. Helding said...

It is true that I have had people approach me about running for Mayor, but I am concentrating on being an Alderman right now. My position here has nothing to do with any political aspirations I may or may not have. It is an ideological one.

You said "the council makes the legislation and the manager enforces them."

That is where I have the problem. The enforcement of legislation and carrying out of policies involves making decisions - a lot of them. You can argue that the council is responsible for the decisions because they hire the manager. My argument is that puts a buffer between the people and the decision maker and I would rather that buffer not be there.

Further, being chief executive of the city government goes beyond enforcing rules made by the council. The Mayor provides vision and leadership. Those things are easier to get out of one person than out of 15.

colt said...

Myself as much as dislike a lot of what the mayor has done in the last few months
1) Gutting MIS
2) Gutting RFD
3) $300,000- $800,000 no bid contract
4) Firing the HR Dirctor
5) Thy attemt to purge the parks dept
6) The upcome civil cases that we get to pay for when the city loses
7) Hiring a grant writer

I like having a Mayor and I hope that Mayor Becker can go back to being an leader who can have staff disagree with him without firing them.
I do NOT like having a City Adim

My quote
" I have yet to begin to fight"
John Paul Jones


"How can a man die better then facing fearful odds for the city of his father and the temple of his Gods?"

Anonymous said...

Raed in the Middle http://raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com/

khalid jarrar

* Age: 30
* Gender: Male
* Industry: Education
* Location: Baghdad : Iraq

About khalid jarrar

I am pro God, I am pro life, I am pro humanity, I am pro truth, and when the American government chooses to be against all that then damn it: i AM anti American-goverment.

Anonymous said...

Alderman Helding is right.

A manager reporting to an elected board diffuses the responsibility for the actions of the manager across too many people.

Alderman make the policy, the executive implements the policy, and all of them need to be responsible to the taxpayers.

eric said...

"Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." The Outlaw Josie Wales

"There are people in this world who do not love their fellow man. I hate people like that." Tom Lehrer

Ald. Helding said...


I thought I was the only guy in Racine who knew who Tom Lehrer was.

Another of my favorites is "It's people like that who make you realize how little you've accomplished. It is a sobering thought, for example, that when Mozart was my age, he had been dead for two years."

I commend you on what must be an interesting sense of humor.

I am also a big fan of "The Outlaw Josie Wales".

Pariah Jeep said...

"Dyin' ain't much of a livin' boy."

"I never paid him no mind - you were there."

". . . we got somethin' in this part of the country - called a Missoura boat ride."

Anonymous said...

Benedict NEVER says that the Marxist/Engels observations of reality are incorrect...

...on Christian Hope


19. We must look briefly at the two essential stages in the political realization of this hope, because they are of great importance for the development of Christian hope, for a proper understanding of it and of the reasons for its persistence. First there is the French Revolution—an attempt to establish the rule of reason and freedom as a political reality. To begin with, the Europe of the Enlightenment looked on with fascination at these events, but then, as they developed, had cause to reflect anew on reason and freedom. A good illustration of these two phases in the reception of events in France is found in two essays by Immanuel Kant in which he reflects on what had taken place. In 1792 he wrote Der Sieg des guten Prinzips über das böse und die Gründung eines Reiches Gottes auf Erden (“The Victory of the Good over the Evil Principle and the Founding of a Kingdom of God on Earth”). In this text he says the following: “The gradual transition of ecclesiastical faith to the exclusive sovereignty of pure religious faith is the coming of the Kingdom of God”[17]. He also tells us that revolutions can accelerate this transition from ecclesiastical faith to rational faith. The “Kingdom of God” proclaimed by Jesus receives a new definition here and takes on a new mode of presence; a new “imminent expectation”, so to speak, comes into existence: the “Kingdom of God” arrives where “ecclesiastical faith” is vanquished and superseded by “religious faith”, that is to say, by simple rational faith. In 1794, in the text Das Ende aller Dinge (“The End of All Things”) a changed image appears. Now Kant considers the possibility that as well as the natural end of all things there may be another that is unnatural, a perverse end. He writes in this connection: “If Christianity should one day cease to be worthy of love ... then the prevailing mode in human thought would be rejection and opposition to it; and the Antichrist ... would begin his—albeit short—regime (presumably based on fear and self-interest); but then, because Christianity, though destined to be the world religion, would not in fact be favoured by destiny to become so, then, in a moral respect, this could lead to the (perverted) end of all things”[18].

20. The nineteenth century held fast to its faith in progress as the new form of human hope, and it continued to consider reason and freedom as the guiding stars to be followed along the path of hope. Nevertheless, the increasingly rapid advance of technical development and the industrialization connected with it soon gave rise to an entirely new social situation: there emerged a class of industrial workers and the so-called “industrial proletariat”, whose dreadful living conditions Friedrich Engels described alarmingly in 1845. For his readers, the conclusion is clear: this cannot continue; a change is necessary. Yet the change would shake up and overturn the entire structure of bourgeois society. After the bourgeois revolution of 1789, the time had come for a new, proletarian revolution: progress could not simply continue in small, linear steps. A revolutionary leap was needed. Karl Marx took up the rallying call, and applied his incisive language and intellect to the task of launching this major new and, as he thought, definitive step in history towards salvation—towards what Kant had described as the “Kingdom of God”. Once the truth of the hereafter had been rejected, it would then be a question of establishing the truth of the here and now. The critique of Heaven is transformed into the critique of earth, the critique of theology into the critique of politics. Progress towards the better, towards the definitively good world, no longer comes simply from science but from politics—from a scientifically conceived politics that recognizes the structure of history and society and thus points out the road towards revolution, towards all-encompassing change. With great precision, albeit with a certain onesided bias, Marx described the situation of his time, and with great analytical skill he spelled out the paths leading to revolution—and not only theoretically: by means of the Communist Party that came into being from the Communist Manifesto of 1848, he set it in motion. His promise, owing to the acuteness of his analysis and his clear indication of the means for radical change, was and still remains an endless source of fascination. Real revolution followed, in the most radical way in Russia.

21. Together with the victory of the revolution, though, Marx's fundamental error also became evident. He showed precisely how to overthrow the existing order, but he did not say how matters should proceed thereafter. He simply presumed that with the expropriation of the ruling class, with the fall of political power and the socialization of means of production, the new Jerusalem would be realized. Then, indeed, all contradictions would be resolved, man and the world would finally sort themselves out. Then everything would be able to proceed by itself along the right path, because everything would belong to everyone and all would desire the best for one another. Thus, having accomplished the revolution, Lenin must have realized that the writings of the master gave no indication as to how to proceed. True, Marx had spoken of the interim phase of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a necessity which in time would automatically become redundant. This “intermediate phase” we know all too well, and we also know how it then developed, not ushering in a perfect world, but leaving behind a trail of appalling destruction. Marx not only omitted to work out how this new world would be organized—which should, of course, have been unnecessary. His silence on this matter follows logically from his chosen approach. His error lay deeper. He forgot that man always remains man. He forgot man and he forgot man's freedom. He forgot that freedom always remains also freedom for evil. He thought that once the economy had been put right, everything would automatically be put right. His real error is materialism: man, in fact, is not merely the product of economic conditions, and it is not possible to redeem him purely from the outside by creating a favourable economic environment.

22. Again, we find ourselves facing the question: what may we hope? A self-critique of modernity is needed in dialogue with Christianity and its concept of hope. In this dialogue Christians too, in the context of their knowledge and experience, must learn anew in what their hope truly consists, what they have to offer to the world and what they cannot offer. Flowing into this self-critique of the modern age there also has to be a self-critique of modern Christianity, which must constantly renew its self-understanding setting out from its roots. On this subject, all we can attempt here are a few brief observations. First we must ask ourselves: what does “progress” really mean; what does it promise and what does it not promise? In the nineteenth century, faith in progress was already subject to critique. In the twentieth century, Theodor W. Adorno formulated the problem of faith in progress quite drastically: he said that progress, seen accurately, is progress from the sling to the atom bomb. Now this is certainly an aspect of progress that must not be concealed. To put it another way: the ambiguity of progress becomes evident. Without doubt, it offers new possibilities for good, but it also opens up appalling possibilities for evil—possibilities that formerly did not exist. We have all witnessed the way in which progress, in the wrong hands, can become and has indeed become a terrifying progress in evil. If technical progress is not matched by corresponding progress in man's ethical formation, in man's inner growth (cf. Eph 3:16; 2 Cor 4:16), then it is not progress at all, but a threat for man and for the world.
23. As far as the two great themes of “reason” and “freedom” are concerned, here we can only touch upon the issues connected with them.fgvfr;l+/'

Pope Benedict XVI said...

Anonymous 3:55 PM

1) Please don't quote me.
2) Damn you straight to hell, you motherless son of a goat.

Pope Benedict XVI said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pope Benedict XVI said...

Oh, and get off my side, too.

Nemo said...

Anonymous said...

"Benedict NEVER says that the Marxist/Engels observations of reality are incorrect..."

History has made clear that the Marxist/Engels observations of reality are incorrect.

Denis Navratil said...

Thanks everyone for the discussion. I found it more interesting than what the Journal Times had to offer. The quotes were a fine idea. Alderman Heldings thoughts on government were interesting, especially the admission that "we will never be able to answer all the permutations of a problem with one solution." I agree of course. His thoughts made me think of a quote that I like.

"First, do no harm."

Anonymous said...

History has made clear that the Marxist/Engels observations of reality are incorrect.

Slavery exists today.
The United States buys from nations that use slavery.

Have you ever read what you make statements on?

Nemo said...

Anonymous said...

"Have you ever read what you make statements on?"

Yes, and history has made clear that the Marxist/Engels observations of reality are incorrect.

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