Monday, January 6, 2014

a legacy of ignominy marked again

Obamacare’s ‘Absurd New Low’

Kathryn Jean Lopez
National Review
4 January 2014

"Perhaps Justice Sotomayor’s interest in the religious-liberty violation facing the Little Sisters of the Poor is an opportunity for all of Congress to reconsider what they’ve done in passing this monstrosity, with all its implications, including on religious freedom."

[Read more…]

I skimmed a number of 'liberal' articles dissing the matter at hand, and suspect most have read about the nuns, and/or heard enough in the mainstream media, to have a handle on what is happening.

Getting past the resistance in liberal thought to grasp that this is an issue of religious freedom, in addition to another exercise of an historical move against that freedom by the Obama administration, might be, as is said, futile. For all that this matter is indeed a portion of the abortion 'rights' war, the onslaught by the Obama administration to force its views on reproductive "health" upon all Americans
must be understood as an onslaught against religious freedom, because the faith each holds (or not) is where much of our comprehension of moral absolutes, life, and our relationship to our Creator is housed.

Yet it must be viewed as well as a move against freedom of conscience, which is so indelibly set into the human frame that it cannot be listed in any law (i.e., to do so would allow its challenge).

Where [in the legal frame, that is] freedom of religion is set, and must be, and o what woe is moved in now upon us that this freedom is being challenged, and in such manner.

Something there is, then, that must distinguish conscience from religion: yet such distinguishing seems necessitated because the freedom of religion has been challenged. Although Wikipedia sets freedom of conscience within the milieu of freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom of thought, too, can be (and must be) distinguished.

St. Paul taught that conscience—that sense of right and wrong—of, as it were, moral absolute—is 'built-in' to all. Yet conscience can be weak, malformed and/or trained and strengthened.

And can be seared. And eliminated.

A ready sense, then, that conscience can exist without being formed (refined; proven; made whole) by faith is the given. It is from that more archetypal understanding of conscience that I speak herein: conscience as the reality of moral absolute that is endemic to humanity (and can, in each individual, as above, be weak, malformed, etc.).

That sense of the current administration going where angels fear to tread, in these matters of bending the necessity of the free exercise of conscience (yet through its assault against freedom of religion), permeates all.

No, freedom of conscience does not 'trump' freedom of religion. It just seems to be made of things that even government cannot touch.

And the ignominy of what Mr. Obama's administration attempts to cram down the gullet of all must be correctly understood. We are not merely at war over whether or not liberals can deny life to unborn infants, here (although that is a graver battle, and is indeed its exercise—the robe that it is wearing, if I may, in this skirmish).

The choice to kill your own is already legally mandated, and has been, since 22 January 1973. We go up a level here, to mandating that I pay for your choice to kill your own.

And up the further level, in depriving me of my right to follow my conscience, and refuse to be a portion of the horror.

It is that sense of depriving me of the right to choose the moral absolutes of my own conscience, while seeming the lesser horror, that has ramifications we will see do grave ill. I cannot say further than that, although the wish to explore how conscience and faith exist in relation to each other does tantalize.

Conscience, it seems, would be mandated/set within the human frame, in a way that religion and/or faith cannot be, if only because faith is as a vehicle through which an individual could be met by God, which is the beginning of the exercise of faith.

Conscience is not an 'exercise' or response to…

It is set into the very being.

As I wrote a correspondent yesterday, back in the early decades of the last century (as we all know), a brooding horror closely akin to what we experience now began to slither out of its nest.

The [fiction] writers from the early years of the twentieth century already warned of something that almost tipped over the balance for the entire world, then crept back into its lair…

But begins to snake out again now, blink in the light…

And we have their vision of all, like a map laid out before us.

And it is their grasp of that horror that we set out as signposts now, quoting this author or that, and the vision they saw so clearly.

Not saying here that conscience is of a higher value than an unborn child's right to life. It is merely that misfortune of a linear universe into which all thought is cast that makes me think I risk it.

And the take-away in spite of that linear necessity remains that something about conscience is so—set apart, as it were—that we fail to grasp this onslaught against it at our peril.

[Note. The same Greek word translated as 'conscience' in the tally of verses from the New Testament that pulled up in a word study of the term. One of the study helps at the site I examined confirmed that conscience is within the very frame of what it is to be defined as human:

Accordingly, all people have this God-given capacity to know right from wrong because each is a free moral agent (cf. Jn 1:4,7,9; Gen 1:26,27).

It is indeed within that sense of the loss of autonomy as a free moral agent that this matter must be understood. Yes, for all the horror of the abortion movement, loss of the exercise of conscience is a far more serious onslaught against humanity.

Which should surprise none. That reality of the beast which slithers out now, blinking in the light, gains levels of atrocity as each lower level is won.

Again, I understand that we are caught up in the insufficiencies of words spoken in a linear universe: I do not at all mean to diminish the horror of the abortion movement.

If it seems to a reader that I am claiming so, please allow me the insufficiencies noted. I am at a loss in explaining better than I have done, and can only hope that others more sufficient to the task might weigh in. Sophia]

new things in American business?

Zappos Gives Job Titles the Boot

Nina Zipkin
30 December 2013

"Developed by serial entrepreneur Brian Robertson, a Holacracy is a system of governance that takes things like managers, job titles and bureaucratic red tape out of the equation, distributing leadership and power evenly across an organization. Instead of a standard hierarchy, companies in a Holacracy are comprised of different "circles" and employees can have any range of roles and responsibilities within those circles, according to a report in Quartz."

[Read more…]

The wisest leaders tend to recognize that the man in the trenches might know more about the battle than can be seen from the high perch of leadership. Yes, as Col. Potter in M.A.S.H. often pointed out, his bird trumps the (if I may) 'not-bird' of his subordinates. My sense of the man, however (yes, a fictional character) certainly shows his awareness of wisdom being found in listening to those who were involved in the day to day of all that they undertook.

Yet in the Christian model, Jesus trained His disciples, and then told them, I no longer call you servants, but friends.

While some degree of observing how Borders' experiments in how to run a company catapulted an immensely beloved (and successful) bookstore to failure causes me to eye this one with a degree of reserve, holacracy might improve some of the other misbegotten items business falls to now. As a manager told me a long while ago, coming into positions of leadership without generations of sustained role models (I believe we were speaking of women in business leadership positions in that conversation) is not such an easy thing.

Men had the advantage there, at that time.

I have observed (and yes, been the butt of) several instances in 'new' leadership (without the sustained generations yet of role models) wherein rage is misunderstood now, and thought to represent (in and of itself, somehow) power.

And should be tolerated, because of the position of a manager (i.e., over a subordinate).

Where that would be the first place wherein rage should be governed, as the weight of a superior over a subordinate already crafts a matter as power over. To add rage veers over into abuse.

And hostile work environments.

In addition to instilling a lack of restraint into the marketplace at large that stirs something unseemly and lacking in graciousness. Yes, clearly, I am not merely discussing the changes in the modern work place as a result of the influx of female managers.

However, the misconception that rage, in producing fear, equals power, and that fear equals respect, should be noted.

The best leadership never resorts to fear. Or descends to lack of restraint.

Or misunderstands what is inherent in any appropriate use of power: it is intended, not as self-glory, but rather, as servanthood.

Several writers took on servanthood as the only appropriate exercise of power in business (and other) leadership circles, and crafted bestsellers on the subject, many of which are still in print.

Yet Christ Himself trained His own so that they would no longer be servants. Yes, a far greater 'work' therein, but certainly, if the lesser models of the day to day (which were the stuff of His parables anyway and, indeed, are the 'stuff' by which we shall one day have our own life efforts judged) wish to pattern themselves on His higher teaching, it might not be a bad thing.

It seems, however, that success would depend to some degree on a stable work force, as well as a like degree of pride in one's job, and a loyalty to the employer. As much as a willingness (and capability) to work as a unit, and to learn how individual systems work, and what might cause them to fail.

Which is basic systems analysis.

Whether America at large can regain (and/or sustain) this remains to be seen. As much as how individuals might come to wield basic systems analysis.

We are living in a time dually possessing some of the greatest elements that might allow personal success—right there, for the taking, for whomever might exert himself to reach—and a global behind all that seems set on the loss of the liberty that makes personal success the sweet treasure that it is.

Whether holacracy can preserve the necessity to be trained in leadership (for its, if I may, 'non-leader' employees) so that the circle becomes capable of that distributed power that will be its jewel will need to be proven.

Am eyeing hopefully.

a bit of history

Letter Tied to Fight for Independence Is Found in Museum’s Attic

James Barron
The New York Times
1 January 2014

"She realized the document was the draft of an urgent plea for reconciliation from the Continental Congress. It was addressed to the people of Britain, not King George III and his government, and began by mentioning “the tender ties which bind us to each other” and “the glorious achievements of our common ancestors.”"

[Read more…]

Hat tip: Investment Watch

off with their heads, we roared!

Video: "Keep Your Doctor, Change Your Senator"

Guy Benson
Town Hall
2 Jan 2014

"Meanwhile, we already know that millions fewer Americans are insured today than were covered last year, due to the first round of dropped coverage."

[Read more…]

Err, that would be…

As the Red Queen likewise roared, and Alice overheard, and…

You know the story.