Letters Aug. 19, 2021

This addictive, dysfunctional patriarchal system of ours

“Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”  -  Humanist philosopher Sir Karl Popper, on the paradox of tolerance

Re:  “Are the Taliban Really All That Different From Us?"

Since reading the 1986 book by Anne Wilson-Schaef titled When Society Becomes An Addict, I’ve thought groups like the Taliban were no different from a certain category of people in the US.  It is imperative we identify exactly who they’re similar to.

According to the book, there is a fear-based group in the U.S., (and most of the world,) who want to control everyone and everything around them.  Those who haven’t learned to deal with their vulnerability will be terrified of allowing others to know them, and they’ll end up being afraid of everyone and everything they don’t control. Trump is a good example of a personality like that in the U.S.

In the end, they’ll want to control everyone, but themselves. This way, it’s easier to blame others for their hatred, anger and fear, while they avoid awareness and examination of their own hidden fears.

Once this group of people believes that “others” are the problem, and can blame them for their issues, (for example, Trump blaming Muslims, Mexicans, Libtards, media, Hilary, immigrants, and so on,) they do their best to change those they can’t control, rather than themselves. (I’m sure you know how easy it is to change others.)

According to the book, the patriarchal male system is dysfunctional, addictive and xenophobic in nature, and is the basis for all the major problems the world is currently facing. 

The priorities of the Taliban are no different from the priorities of the authoritarian, patriarchal males in our country. The only real difference is the color of their skin, and the area of the world they want to control.

Scratch the surface of a bully, and one will find a coward. Under the facades of hatred and anger found in the Taliban, one will find fear as well. In the end, the Taliban are as much fear-based personalities and bullies and cowards as the racist and terroristic patriarchal males in the U.S.

Gary Burt
Marble, Minnesota

The edge of madness


To some, that’s all about waving some flags, resisting masking and denying vaccinations for the Covid-19 that Donald Trump allowed to get so out of hand that for a long time the U.S. was ranked “dead last” among first world countries in handling the pandemic.  The thing that boosted us out of last place was the fact that Brazil tried to copy our leader, and they took over last place. Last place is for losers, and their leaders are losers also. (I think today we’re ranked number 20.)

But freedom isn’t what we think it is.  What could be freer than riding with the stereotypical outlaw biker gang?  Join such a gang “for freedom” and you’ll quickly learn what rules mean.  Bikers have their own particular sets of rules, and if you violate them, you’ll be banished, or much worse.

Waving a flag doesn’t make someone patriotic. Patriotism involves work: knowing how the country works; respecting truth, honesty and facts; learning when the country is right and defending it; and learning when the country is wrong and correcting it.  Yes, all countries (even the U.S.) make mistakes, just like all people do.  If these things aren’t followed, any flag becomes just a rag on a stick.

Today some who are most susceptible to the conspiracy “theories” are on the edge of madness. These “theories” aren’t theories at all, and I blame the lazy media (all of it) for giving those ideas respectability of the term “theory.” They are just stories, or at best hypotheses.

Any fool or genius can make up stories. Hypotheses are lots of facts, carefully observed, and someone making a theory or law from them, such as the Law of Gravity, or the Law of Conservation of Energy. When the hypothesis is tested, and able to predict future outcomes, only then is it a “theory.” (The Law of Gravity predicted the ability to land men on the moon.)

So put the flags away, whether  black and white, or red, white and blue, and rejoin the community that’s tasked with taking care of you when you become deathly ill. Don’t be an unnecessary nuisance.
Freedom means doing your part.

A. Martin
Merrifield, Minnesota