Telling right from right

Harry Drabik

Telling right from wrong used to be a commonly understood goal, which when relaxed leads to toleration, acceptance or advocacy of things formerly on the wrong side. Understanding of unpopular views, however, seems to open the way to giving hostile acts similar consideration.  

It’s true, seems t’ me, that punishing antisocial behavior is (‘specially from some perspectives) often or even essentially unfair to the out-of-bounds actor, but giving added consideration to the plight of the formerly wrongdoer ends up as a further punishment of victims and society. What to do?  

For one (a simple single point start) maybe we simply accept that an egalitarian society with perfect justice just ain’t to be had. Period.  

Ultimate fairness, where is it?   When it comes to due consideration, how much is enough and how much is a total waste of time-effort? Watch a five-year-old who did wrong. You know it. They know it, and we all know they will deny because they are guilty of whatever wrong and don’t want to be held accountable.   How much effort are we responsible for to satisfy the call of ultimate fairness?

Might I suggest no amount of trying and no vaunted intention will get us to an impossible goal. (Similar to trying to be objective. I can’t totally and perfectly be so, but if I make an as-far-as-I’m-able effort and acknowledge that I’ve done what I can on this earth, leaving the pronouncements of heaven to those inclined.)  

Anyroad, important concepts (justice, fairness, etc.) can be handled with too much iron-bound simply or with complexity abundant enough to being joy and complexity to barristers. In old times physicians were (for cause) called leeches, a designation better suited to others.  

But rather than more of me a grousing ‘bout things I can’t change, instead a few observations for new-minted and still shiny 24?   Consider. What do we call the time in life when a pair of pliers become a regular kitchen tool? Does debt well beyond means show success and sound management? Who says “Wealth-power attracts the worst and corrupts the best”?

Southern border, northern border: what’s preventing migrants from Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario from reaching here? Is the northern border racist? Not being able to find or access something is functionally equivalent to not having it. Is it possible that the further a society gets from production and into service areas the more dependent it becomes? Hard pills to consider.

– The Reformation (how many readers are already adrift) was necessary but with lethal consequences. – The infamous Inquisition was a pale warmup for the murderous French Revolution where devout atheists valued execution over repentance.

– Ravensbruch, a WWII concentration camp for women wasn’t much involved in exterminating Jews because Ravensbruch was in Germany where Jews were not permitted to step foot to pollute that sacred soil.

– Ideals and beliefs may begin in innocence but (is it a human thing?) often end in victim’s bloody agony. Only too late do we find out when cheaper is not better. I could hardly disapprove more of recent years’ impeachments for having degraded a serious matter.

Too frequently I’ve not appreciated good things and people and been too often been fond of foul things. Romantic passion on a sandy beach can be doomed by a single grain of sand.

Is the new Minnesota flag a case of neither past nor future?

Yet to be banned Mark Twain commented “Nothing needs reform like other people’s habits.” Twain may be gone and disgraced, but the habit he lamented thrives in contemporary revenge and retribution, relentless and insatiable. It seems the largest attempted genocide lasted half a millennia in India where Muslims tried to exterminate Hindus, who didn’t like it.

Should I trust and accept the judgment of those who fail to mention the systematic and armed overthrow of the Afghan government occurring under their noses and yet not see what an insurrection looks like. Hate speech laws are the disguised, stealth version of banning free expression. When enforced this becomes criminal prosecution of blasphemy.

The word love has so many implications and interpretations I’ve too often hesitated to say it. I feared overuse, cheapening but most of all lying. Being human is not easy. Topple a statue, remove a monument, erase a name, remove writings and expunge from history is the surest was to create a mythic martyred hero.

Is it my misunderstanding that electric storage is much trickier than fossil fuel storage? Can I buy and use portable electricity same as I’d use gasoline? I don’t think so, nor to my knowledge does stored (battery) electricity hold up to cold weather? In an imagined or hoped-for scenario pure energy is as wonderful to wish for as surgery without risk or invasion.

Supposing a thing works as desired doesn’t mean it will do so. From my point of view “environmentally friendly” leaves out the consequences of seasonal environment. Maybe that’s why owners of battery powered golf carts don’t use them to go grocery shopping in Cook or I Falls. So far we’re not looking at a good year for snow plowing. A thought to consider.

If you’re a Harvard President demoted to mere faculty your wage (before taxes) is a little less than $75,000 monthly. It’s unclear how many classes, teaching hours or students served justify that wage.

Saved in a kitchen drawer, mother’s much sharpened knife. Wavy and imperfect, this old steel has character denied heartless new blades. I knew I loved another when breaking through river ice I looked back in hope they’d be safe. And yet, how often have I quietly cared for and loved others who seem seldom to think of me in return? Is it fate, burden, catastrophe, curse or joy that makes love so difficult and treacherous but also worth risking life and soul to know?

You’ve likely seen on many consoles or control panels the innocuous word MODE. I never see it without first thinking pie a la.