The Enlightening Truth of the Pirate

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by wkmac, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Augustine in his monumental work, "The City of God" recounts a story of a Pirate's reply to the late Alexander the Great when the great King himself had enquired of a lowly pirate for what reason and manner does he (the Pirate) keep hostile possession of the sea? The pirate's response to the mighty King?

    Book IV, Chapter 4
  2. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    Lasted edited by : Feb 21, 2011
  3. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
  4. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    I take an axiomatic position on that; which is to say, I don't think there is a real answer to that paradox - there are attempts at solutions, but I'm not aware of (which, admittedly, is perhaps not saying much) any "complete" solution to that problem.

    In regards to my axiomatic phrase, I would clarify that by saying that I tend to accept that there are several assumptions about society, government, etc, that I (for the time being) accept as true and necessary for the state to function. That doesn't mean they are right in the same sense that it's "right" to say that humans need oxygen to survive, but then again I don't tend to regard socio-political things as having a right answer in that sense, either.

    In the context of the real world, my response to that question is that we live in a world of necessary evil(s) - the 'guardians' being one of them, I suppose.

    I will perhaps have to think more on this over the next few days; but, again, I don't believe there are factual answers to be found, only opinions which one might find more or less [dis]tasteful.
    Lasted edited by : Feb 21, 2011
  5. Baba gounj

    Baba gounj pensioner

    I'll put this here so no one will claim I'm bringing back an old thread....................
    (CBS News) — The four Americans aboard a yacht hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia are dead.
    Hijacked last Friday off Oman, the Quest was being piloted toward the Somali coast — and was being shadowed by a U.S. Navy warship.
    CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports that gunshots aboard the yacht were heard, and the warship took action.
    All 4 Americans were dead, killed apparently by their captors.

    There were more than a dozen pirates on board, some dead and others captured, Martin reports.
    The Americans were Scott Adam and his wife, Jean, of Marina del Rey, Calif.; and Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, both of Seattle.
    Adam, in his mid-60s, had been an associate producer in Hollywood when he turned in a spiritual direction and enrolled in the seminary a decade ago, Professor Robert K. Johnston of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena and a friend of Adam’s, told The Associated Press.
    “He decided he could take his pension, and he wanted to serve God and humankind,” he said.
    Since 2004, the Adams lived on their yacht in Marina Del Rey for about half the year and the rest of the year they sailed around the world, often distributing Bibles in remote parts of the Fiji Islands, Alaska, New Zealand, Central America and French Polynesia, Johnston said.
    ( Pirates have recently tied hostages upside down and dragged them in the sea, locked them in freezers, beaten them and used plastic ties around their genitals, Pirates currently hold 30 ships and more than 660 hostages )
  6. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    It may be true that there is no complete solution, that is a one size fits all but then the problems across the board aren't a one size fits all either. Our first mistake IMO as human civilization is to account for the vastness of diversity and the variety of approaches to human life that we all have and yet share at the same time. We see fire and the first action is to dump water on it but what if it's a grease fire or an electrical fire? The response may seem proper at the outset, the intent noble and just but the subsequent reaction will bring on very bad unintended consequences.

    I think the very first thing needed and IMO very lacking for all good people concerned regardless of belief or idealogy is a complete transparency especially in the commons or public sphere. Not having all the facts is like seeing a fire, unaware that it's origins are grease and then when we dump water on it the problems only become worse and far more destructive. We respond in natural ways to problems that seem common sense and yet the after effects seem to only magnify the problem and IMO mainly because we aren't given all the facts and details. Unless we have complete and total transparency in the public space, no direction or outcome will ever really work in the long run.

    IMHO, no current political operative(s) who hold any element of power in the public sphere have truly come out and been a complete open book in all matters. Bring in complete transparency across the board and this is the game changer and they know this too.

  7. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Here's a hint for the bible thumpers looking to spread the word. America is full of heathens....go work among them. Those waters that you sailed are known to have why did you go there? You should've gone to least you'd be dead closer to home. Sometimes people need to take responsibility for their own safety.
  8. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    There is a philosophy somewhat akin to what has been posted here that "Whatever is is right." I am computer stupid so cannot post a link and down-right lazy so I can't even direct anyone to a leading scholar of that thought. But it has always made sense to me. Since everything seems always in a state of change it is ridiculous for one to say, "That's not right," but rather work to change something. If the "not right" thing is not sufficiently offensive to cause a change, then it is by definition, "right". It does make me wonder, however, what it will take for politics, banking, and industry in this country to become sufficiently offensive enough to cause enough people in this country to want to insist upon needed changes.
  9. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    I've said for a very long time, the Great Commission was long ago fulfilled. More than plenty of work for them to do at home and near by and to a vastly more sympathic audience to boot!

    Very good points Moreluck!
  10. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    I think you are quoting Alexander Pope, "A Pope" from Dan Brown's world of Angels and Demons.

  11. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    You are absolutely correct. Thank-you. I think we covered his writings when I was in school in the early '90s. We were studying early American philosophy/religion within the context of the Founding Father's deliberations having to do with the Constitution.
  12. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Not sure though how "Angels and Demons" comes into play though. Never saw it.
  13. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Wow! Thanks. I am cutting, pasting and printing this and framing it and hanging it on my wall.
  14. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    I have often had this debate with myself over the years, for various purposes.

    One the one hand, it stands to reason (or, I think it does, anyway) that this is a desired outcome, but on the other hand it is also conceivable that it would make the balancing of interests nigh impossible.

    In an era when instant and mass communication make generating a frenzy very easy, I'm almost frightened to see how the mob mentality of the different constituencies would react to seeing how a national government has to balance competing interests - there is a case to be made that they could handle it and be fine, but then there is also the case to be made that certain folks thought it necessary to set things on fire when O.J. was acquitted, or because a certain team won a certain sports game; or, to go bananas because some folks didn't like certain legislation, so on and so forth.

    On the other hand, people were upset about the Pentagon Papers and that perhaps contributed to some people protesting Vietnam, but people didn't march on Washington with machine guns; and the warrantless wiretapping really bummed people out, but they did not react violently; so, either way I suppose there is a case to be made for transparency.

    It does occur to me though that if a large player on the world stage (e.g. the United States) were to unilaterally adopt transparency while the rest of the actors did not, it would put that country at a huge disadvantage - I think the people of the world might applaud it wholesale, but the other governments would now operate from a position of immense advantage.

    In an attempt to keep this shorter than it otherwise might be, I'll finish by saying that state secrecy and political power, in general, seems to be roughly analogous to cancer, in that when there is even a trace amount of it, it attempts to spread and infect neighboring organs (in this case, political).

    Point of clarification: I agree with you, and I'm not defending the choice of all politicians to avoid being transparent, either; I think they avoid transparency not because of the sort of philosophical tripe that I blathered about, but rather because of the skeletons in their closet.
  15. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Who'd have thunk it....The U.S. needs a 'pirate policy' !!!
  16. curiousbrain

    curiousbrain Well-Known Member

    I had an interesting professor in college who advocated the point (as most historians do, if he was to be believed) that as long as there is a large enough middle class, with wealth enough to enjoy some luxuries of life and operate on the precept of some political representation, there would never (or, the odds were extremely slim) be a revolution of arms against the powers that be - in this case, the government.

    This country, in my opinion, is very far (granted, closer then it was perhaps ten or twenty years ago, but still very far nonetheless) from that point. I have a job, you have a job, most people here have a job, and we all get by - not as well as some of us might like, but enough that we are content with it. There is a critical mass point, if you will, where the threshold will drop below some magic point of income versus the size of the middle class (and probably relative to a lot of other variables as well) and only then will you see real, true discontent manifest itself as political change.

    The question of how it will manifest itself, peacefully or violently, is anyone's guess, I think.
    Lasted edited by : Feb 22, 2011
  17. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Personally I enjoyed your tripe and blather, don't sell yourself short!

  18. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    For the most part I agree with that professor only I think of it in more coloquial terms: people are easily bought off. Give them beer, cars, and XBOX and you can almost have their first born. See in in labor/management as well. A little signing bonus here, a two-tiered pay system there and presto! Union slowly being divided and conquered.
  19. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Egypt for the most part was non violent and the violence mostly seen were by Murbarak loyalist or those attempting to maintain the status quo. Egypt at best replaced a leader and still maintain some measure of the older system so in a true revolutionary sense, depends on your definition as to how to call that. Regardless, IMO I was impressed to see 1000's if not millions resort to non-compliance in order to force change. I have no proof to believe this but it almost at times seemed to me that they had been reading Etienne de la Boetie.

    Then again we do know they were reading Gene Sharp so just maybe they did or maybe they are now. Egypt IMO showed that non-violence and non compliance can bring down a state and it's only our compliance that in the end keeps it up. Fear is the mind killer!