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Dec-19-2008 15:50printcomments

Op Ed: 'Pragmatic' Fury
Needs Channeling
For Realistic Impacts

True Democratic process demands time & effort.

(EUGENE, Ore.) - For decades, in our nation, many informed sources have been reporting rapid growth of widespread fury by many, many citizens against policies forced upon them by “the powers-that-be” --however defined now. Patience is not a virtue of democracies.

Formation of new democratic-pattern governance worldwide, ever since our own, has demonstrated that without doubt, those pragmatic, always-massive movements are birthed in revolution, and that fury is retained. That invariably means rapid-upset approach to unbearable oppressions, of any kind: cultural, social or economic --even though, in any established democratic pattern, it may take considerable time.

That is root-and-branch for our own political upsets of the century, from Hoover’s Great Depression debacle through the formative years of FDR’s New Deal. Public demand for rapid action forced some rapidchanges, not always wise, or comprehensive, or even well-planned.

But the process worked: the changes were made, and they have shaped our lives ever since: Social Security, minimum-wage, civil rights, working safety, national superhighways, commonschool/college support via NDEA and GI Bill, et al, et al, et al.

On through the Johnson years and Vietnam, and then Reagan and all the consequences since, we’ve surely seen it repeated and even multiplied. We have not yet achieved truly effective and universal healthcare --killed in the Clinton era by determined, malignly-intended, private-gain attack.

The last eight Bush II-years of total collapse and its consequential catastrophic demands for still another transforming decade prove precisely the point on patience- demanded NOW.

It took the better working-part of a century to dig ourselves into this huge hole: Patience MIS-applied. Our own apathy --comforted by misinformation, cloaked by intentional distortion/perversion-- became the most important working tools for the contractors. (Read: “perpetrators”)

What we somehow failed to learn is that the key concept and consequence --forced upon us when this fury is once-again/released into action NOW-- is that anything worth doing in any democracy demands, first TIME, and then PATIENCE.

Given those, with consummate leadership lighting the way --and moving aside the massive mountains of resistance always encountered-- great and good things can be achieved But many are already demanding a great diversity of immediate magniloquent --sometimes even massive-- new, direct, rapid, comprehensive, costly, and highly consequential first-shots from our President-Elect.

That’s a paryicularly destructive mistake in what must really be a long-endured, time-and-patience driven campaign --for truly enduring results --which it now is so very clear we must have or perish as a democracy. What we chose for transformative change on Nov, 4, 2008, will “go down in history” in decades to come.

We need to make sure we now begin-again, as did our Founding Fathers after the first frantic organizing efforts following the Revolution. “Begin-again” surely, certainly, without fail, demands we seek solid solace in full understandings of how we went so far-wrong, in so many consequential ways, with complicity and cabal-impact we failed to recognize --until Nov.4.

We must wait until our new leader “actually gets through the White House door”, before we begin-again the overwhelming pressures --now directly on him-- which have proven so impossible already for citizen comprehension and action --with a complicit mainstream media.

Answers, even via Congressional action --stalled into semi-permanent status/quo by offsetting very-strong private-interest, corporate-manpulated impacts-- must depend on time and study for “best-choice” policy, set by the President Himself. We must provide for him at least a sensible (read: “pragmatic”) time-frame.

We must allow him freedom-of-choice on the complex, interlocking Cabinet-relationships. Those can bring back into force the strengths, insights and forceful approaches missing so recently, so disastrously. Many learned from those painful lessons, including some now newly-named for this opportunity.

We must insist on carefully consolidated skillful cooperative oversight of those selected persons --which only the President can provide. That is his job, his consummate choice --his sole and very personal unfailing responsibility to us all, NOW.

THAT can provide the time we all know is needed, to rebuild relations with Congress; to confirm and conform to democratic dialog and discussion, to “hear the public voice” -- and THEN act.

THOSE are the very “conversations of democracy” we all know, deep within our “American exceptionalism” background, is what we must have NOW --even at the cost of more time and patience.

THE CONGRESS, our elected-representative shaping, directing, funding, and full-process mechanism for the main strengths of our democracy, must again be brought first to readiness, and then to regularity, in relations with the President and the agencies, for any new beginnings we may achieve. Our greatest danger in this “transformative new beginning” is, very simply-stated, the very same dangers continuing from all previous decades: Those who, for their own private purposes, still will undertake, support, and seek to apply the very same propagandistic and manipulative mehods they used in the past.

First and foremost, those mean, malign massive intentional misunderstandings are what has driven that long-building widespread fury reflected so strongly in the huge mandate achieved on Nov. 4th.

The same voices of “ NOT now, but LATER, or possible even NEVER !!” will be heard, laying on loud and long the same old political shibboleths, outmoded and fragmented dogmas, and the same old flim/flam. The overwhelming fact of widespread fury is all the answer we need to that failed, futile, foolish set of fancies. (You can easily check for yourselves, with friends, neighbors, anyone whose judgment you trust.)

That check-for-yourself situation can and should be an ongoing (very “pragmatic”) guide to what-and-how you dialog with everyone else about our current unavoidable situation. IF you really want to see “American exceptionalism” again in action, now is the time to stand with and behind President Obama as he enters that White House door.

Your stance, your words-in-dialog with others, your trust and confidence --especially your many thoughtful conversations-- can provide the potential strength and unity we all have missed for so long, in so many ways. We know the destructive desolation and disunity we’ve found interfering with democratic progress for the past thirty years --and now we have the opportunity to prove what can be done, when we move irresistibly in the opposite direction.

The total impacts --as in the roots of democracy revealed in the “wisdom of crowds” over the centuries-- may well amaze you, but they are definitely there, We can utilize those major typical characteristics of our democracy now for our commonweal.

OR we can fall into the many traps set malignantly by those who wish only that we are again forced to failure --for their own private political purposes and personal economic gains --again.


Henry Clay Ruark is the one of, if not the most experienced, working reporter in the state of Oregon, and possibly the entire Northwest. Hank has been at it since the 1930's, working as a newspaper staff writer, reporter and photographer for organizations on the east coast like the Bangor Maine Daily News.
Today he writes Op-Ed's for with words that deliver his message with much consideration for the youngest, underprivileged and otherwise unrepresented people.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Bret M. December 29, 2008 9:39 am (Pacific time)

Henry Ruark, and to all, the empirical reality of the present is that Ghandi had no long lasting impact, nor do his followers. The world is becoming increasingly violent, both domestically and abroad. My advice is to be prepared for the the worst and to be skeptical of those who attempt to have you think otherwise, including those who provide distracting quotes from the past that are not applicable to today's realities. May you find the insight to appreciate the world as it is, not how you think it is, or how uninformed(?) agenda-driven ideologues explain their myopic views as how it is.

Henry Ruark December 27, 2008 8:08 pm (Pacific time)

n2s et al: Pardon repetition, friend n2a, but your symptoms indicate an understandable inability to accept realities of history. SO must, again, suggest you talk openly, freely with an educator you trust with full knowledge of world history. Re "trusted congressman". did not have to check to know you mean Ron Paul. He is openly libertarian, which should give you or anyone else real pause since that way of life colors all else --as your comments surely seem to show. BUT if you follow Ghandi there may still be possibility of recovery, so Happy New Year to you, and let us know how you make out with your own choice of trusted educator who really knows truth as accepted by the rest of the world.

Henry Ruark December 27, 2008 4:18 pm (Pacific time)

"The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society." -- Thomas Jefferson to P. Dupont, 1816 = "Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression." -- Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801

new2site December 27, 2008 3:38 pm (Pacific time)

I appreciate Vic's support, but I was out of line. I am frustrated and learning how to deal with it. Henry, honestly, you have no clue what you are talking about. You live in a world that "used to be" and you dont want to give up on that world. I understand. I used to live there too, and it was much easier to live day to day life in regards to that. But, realizing it now, and feeling the pain NOW, might make the later pain not as painful when prepared. Here is the truth, and yes, the truth hurts. Please read the link from our most intelligent and trusted congressman. My apologies for not being more professional before. To editor: there are programs that can change your IP address. Pretty violent arent I. ? Its obvious you are not well learned on the peaceful creativity of people who are fed up with the lies of government including the puppet obama. obama has said NOTHING about the israeli attack on Gaza, while the rest of the world (except the U.S. and parts of Britian, all owned by the rockefellers/rothchilds) condemns israel. here is your proof

Henry Ruark December 26, 2008 6:12 pm (Pacific time)

Milawsk et al: You wrote: "...this publication constantly reeks of agenda-driven lefty pablum." Do you sell millions of copies internationally for your pablum ? Then, too, they publish each article with the by-line of the writer, and furnish full details qualifying what's written from their widespread sources. Where's your checkable cgrnd qualifying your unsupported personal bias masquerading as good faith informed opinion ?

Milewski December 22, 2008 11:47 am (Pacific time)

"Shallow sister from the ice caves." Who is that? How does that compare to the neophyte from the Chicago culture of corruption? Time magazine has had quite a variety of people as their Man of the Year, so this is not exactly a big deal, especially considering that this publication constantly reeks of agenda-driven lefty pablum. My guess is that Obama will continue to have his base question his motives behind his actions, which are not really his, though he has ultimate responsibility. This will be a redux of the Clinton years, except much less successful. If we are confronted with even minor domestic terrorist attacks, expect martial law, then a complete deterioration of freedoms. There will not be baby steps, this MAY happen very quickly.

Henry Ruark December 22, 2008 8:13 am (Pacific time)

To all: You want even moe ? How about his choice for working leaders in science ? ONE from Oregon, already ? That's "pragmatic", too, you must agree: Editorial A New Respect for Science "Though Barack Obama’s cabinet appointments have received the big headlines, it is worth noting two important sub-cabinet choices. Both are scientists, committed to using rather than abusing science to address issues like climate change, and a welcome departure from the many ideologues and lobbyists that Dick Cheney assembled to advise President Bush on environmental matters. "The first of these choices is Jane Lubchenco, a marine biologist at Oregon State University, to run the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a division of the Commerce Department responsible for the health of the atmosphere and the oceans. Ms. Lubchenco is an expert on two grave threats to the oceans, both linked to global warming. One is acidification, which is destroying coral reefs, the other hypoxia, a condition that robs fish of the oxygen they need to survive. She has also been a powerful advocate for stronger federal and international efforts to protect declining fish species." ------------- The Edit continues naming more leaders placed in top working positions for the same very practical reasons. Can't fail to point out that such strong choices demand --you guessed !!--both time AND patience. Obama is not yet even in the WH, but hard-at-work, with proven results overshadowing Bush payoffs and political pandering.

Henry Ruark December 22, 2008 7:50 am (Pacific time)

To all: "Pragmatic" is Obama's patient rational,reasonable, sensible, --and wise-- approach to huge problems far worse than any faced since Reagan. Our Op Eds have stressed that for you, to ease frustrations. Proof is more evident in E.E. Dionne's column re choice of Chicago's pragmatic schools head Duncan: Because he knows very well how to coordinate, collaborate and build real consequence by consensus. Here's "see with own eyes" concluding pgh in his column titled "NO IDEOLOGUE FOR EDUCATION"; "Collaboration is what Duncan and Obama are all about. Instead of taking sides in the education argument as it stands, they want to change the debate altogether. How Duncan fares will be a central test of Barack Obama's philosophy of governing." ------------------ Key point for me as for Dionne was Duncan's signing of BOTH national petitions to Obama from strongly-competing policy groups. We can learn from open honest dialog, and then act,if we will but learn from each other...

Henry Ruark December 21, 2008 9:00 pm (Pacific time)

Vic et al: Cannot be open-ended, since too many millions voted to create this opportunity, with huge mandate. To view solid documentation re mandate and strong indications of many sharing belief in need for some patience and some time, see complete current issue of TIME, with O as the Man Of The Year on cover. Read esp. the Interview report and the tenpage Why History Can't Wait feature report, It may ease your unease a bit, by sharing insights gathered by some of the nation's top journalists from the strong sources we know TIME to have. After allathat: What the hell other choice do we NOW have ? Would you prefer worn-out, now discredited old warrior ? OR senseless, insensitive, too shallow sister from the ice-caves ??? Best bet we can ever make is to make sure we DO what WE ONLY can do...surveil entire process, with solid attention and unceasing determination, and constant demand for the actions we all know are now needed. We continue to hold the supreme club --the VOTE--if we will but apply it to those hardheads needing it, both in Congress and via our open, honest, democratic dialog right here in S-N...

Vic December 21, 2008 9:13 am (Pacific time)

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; When the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thomas Jefferson New2site, if armed revolution is not an option, why would our government have any reason to fear us?

Vic December 21, 2008 8:50 am (Pacific time)

Man, I sure hope you are right Henry, although I do not believe that Congress is either awakened or fearful...why should they give a damn about the peasants who have no impact or voice? I appreciate your hopeful and positive outlook, but am afraid you and everyone else who is pinning their hopes on Obama or the self serving hogs in Congress will be bitterly disappointed. I agree that we should give him a chance, but it should not be open-ended.

Henry Ruark December 20, 2008 6:36 pm (Pacific time)

Vic,n2s,et al: Truly appreciate both your honest intensities and your points. Happens I agree about 98% with each of you; but also happens experience with at least three similar situations--none quite so absolutely threatening to whole world as well as U.S. --makes me that much more driven to see all possible chances for change before violence doth come. I agree it will, if we do not experience rapid progressive action by Obama. I did not write about "fury" without sample from multiple sources, some even hotter tha you two. BUT it's impossible to impose on Obama near-impossibilities he now faces, without at least a moment-or-two, or three or even four, AFTER he opens the door to that explosives-packed White House. We MUST allow him a fair and American-values/style shot, before we begin to scream and shoot...and if and when that happens, we must make sure it is at real perpetrators, not at the only leader with enough American courage to undertake this perhaps-impossible job for us. We elected him; the nation DID choose him, he DOES have a huge mandate, he DOES have a now-awakened and truly fearful Congress, he HAS broken thru many barriers and defused many bombs so far (racism, for instance). SO I still stand on the true strengths of the American Way and the American people: Wit, Wisdom, Will --now applied as never before called-for. What we do NOW, with the heat turned on THIS HIGH, will show onceandforalltime what we really are... Meanwhile let's also get on with what the Founders surely intended for perpetrators like those we now know are guilty as hell, and deserve whatever we decide to lay on them. That's the right target now, while we support, strengthen, and make possible what Obama may just bring to happen --if we give him his fair-shot. It'll NEVER happen otherwise. Truly, thank you for your wise participation and honest dialog, worthy of S-N intent and, now, demonstration of what it can produce among us all. The "wisdom of crowds" is far more than theory, as I do see proven here allatime...

Vic December 20, 2008 5:10 pm (Pacific time)

I dont think new2site threatened anyone and I have to say that I agree with much of what I think he said. Have patience? About half the people I know right now are having a really tough time. Some are approaching homelessness. Yet we are supposed to suck it up and have patience. I say give Obama months, not years to make some radical changes. Remember the big referendum vote of 2006? Remember how the Democrats were going to end the war and have accountability for those who lied us into the war? That was two years ago and what happened?? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. We see people like Madoff who bilk thousands of their life savings "punished" by having house arrest in his seven million dollar penthouse while good, honest hardworking people are out on the streets begging. We see the people who lied us into war parading around like celebrities telling us to be patient, change is coming. Some of these same people are on Obama's his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, and his Secretary of State, Clinton. If we act like sheep, we will be treated like sheep. Our patience will be the death of us. When we complain to our so called representatives, we are told to be patient, that change is coming....always on the horizon, but never here. People are running out of patience and the next step is a violent response to decades of being ignored, lied to and scammed. For those like new2site that abhor violence, what would you rather do, see your children starve or fight? Would you fight for your family, your community, your people? I used to be a pacifist, but after 50 years of seeing good people get the shaft, I am done. Maybe the reason we are getting so ripped off by the powers that be is because of the American tendency to be patient and hope things will get better....they know it, and so we are given lip service at best. They have NO reason to fear us, NO reason to serve us when they are so busy at the trough serving themselves. We trudge along with our heads down hoping for the best while our nation is being plundered and we are told to tighten our belts and be patient. The fact is, a rapidly growing number of us no longer have the luxury of being patient even if we wanted to. New2site, I would say that your rejection of violence is equally guilty as Henry's call for time and patience when it come to keeping us slaves. We are ruled by violent people, people who will kill hundreds of thousands, even millions for profit....torture, rendition, intimidation and assasination are tools of their trade. They are not going to go away out of the goodness of their hearts. We have become hens ruled by foxes and are being told to be patient because the new fox will be different.....meanwhile we are being consumed. Open-ended patience and a maniacal aversion to violence of any kind (state sponsored violence seems to be fine with us) are the reasons we are so easily controlled and intimidated. I hate violence and fighting, but I love my kids, my grandkids, my community and my country enough to consider all possibilities. We have become a nation of cowards....docile, scared cowards. Our "leaders" have no respect for us and we give them no reason to. (End of Rant)

Henry Ruark December 20, 2008 2:00 pm (Pacific time)

Vic et al: Do appreciate reference to Ghandi, since it emphasizes tremendous impact possible via his dialog-approach, as in this one: "My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest shall have the same opportunities as the country in the world today shows any but patronizing regard for the weak... Western democracy, as it functions today, is diluted fascism...true democracy cannot be worked by twenty men sitting at the center. It has to be worked from below, by the people of every village." ------ Gandhi \-------------- You will recall Founders' emphasis on equal opportunity, and 200-+ years should surely have taught us what is truly demanded to make that come true...

Vic December 20, 2008 1:12 pm (Pacific time)

I just wish S-N had posted the comment I made before the Ghandi quote regarding patience and violence, but I suspect it was too volatile...too bad, as that dilutes the free-speech aspect of S-N that many of us appreciate.

Editor: Vic, I didn't see it, please feel free to email it to us

Henry Ruark December 20, 2008 12:44 pm (Pacific time)

Vic: Appreciate yours re Ghandi, but did you have to use that bad word, so anathema to us old geeks ??? I do NOT mean "violence"...

Henry Ruark December 20, 2008 10:13 am (Pacific time)

To all: n2s wrote: "It is YOUR apathy Henry that is going to damage much." For the record, S-N has now carried over 500 Op Eds of mine, on large variety of issues, including those under examination here. Each is "informed opinion" --not necessarily where I started-- built on at least 20, sometimes as many as 50, references, citations, quotes, reliable non-partisan national sources,history,and writer's files from 50 writing years. Is that "apathy" ? Where else except S-N do you find the opportunity to review, comment and even rebut, in all good faith ? We run one of few open, honest, democratic dialog channels. It will remain that way only so long as not abused and attacked, via those who wish to make of it a free-fire zone for simplistic political pandering. IF you have comment, dissent, or anything else, present it in civil form for all to read and consider. You are welcomed by Patient Editor Tim, at his expense, so long as you stay within those simple bounds. But don't charge through door with mask-on, smash nearest glass table, and expect a warm welcome. What you will get will be "warm" but not what you may expect...

Vic December 20, 2008 9:05 am (Pacific time)

"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence." Mahatma Gandhi

Henry Ruark December 19, 2008 8:15 pm (Pacific time)

To all: For the record, many national blogs now suffering the same kind of attention-stealing, issue-distorting, time and effort-demanding repeated semi-"attack". Investigation is under way, suspected as further work of "noise machine" with which many are familiar over the past several brutal political decades. I have some longtime working personal/professional contacts on this situation, and will be reporting from time to time as ways-and-means are worked out to follow with legal and any cooperative efforts to protect and preserve the proper rights of both readers and writers. FYI, a similar LMA effort for a corporate client, undertaken cooperatively some years ago, resulted in a very practical application of Copyright to protect learning media, then being improperly "acquired" via abuse of preview. That's a fact, on the record, cited here for precedent it may well help to set for such open channels as S-N, set up and dedicated to open, honest, democratic dialog for mutual sharing and learning purposes.

Henry Ruark December 19, 2008 6:08 pm (Pacific time)

n2s et al: Your intensities understood, but they are very far from Ghandi and his teachings for all. Did you ever meet him ? Happens I had a passing contact,long, long ago, with huge impact on my own thinking at the time. Colleague of mine interviewed him, and was never the same, either. There is always time, if violence is the alternative; until "the wheels fall off". By then your own reaction to violence may be too late fto help either you or anyone else. Did you discuss your feelings with that trusted educator we suggested ? Still not too late, since "your wheels" obviousl still on... But you never "save the village" by destroying it...

new2site December 19, 2008 5:36 pm (Pacific time)

1. When did I harass you? Provide proof please.
2. I made my point about violence because in this world, we need to be careful about how we talk/act. . Please show me proof where I have threatened you. (besides my right of free speech which Henry advocates) Please show me????
3. Please show me proof that anything I have said is incorrect.
4. Please provide me why you could not have taken 2 seconds to copy/paste my other post and make two posts? TO fit your "words per post"?
5. I have done NOTHING on this website that is against ANY rules. Your 'threats' comment is completely unacceptable. Unless you tell me what I am threatening. Your kids? no, you? no. I only threaten with the truth.
5. Yes, I truly believe that Henry's articles are going to hurt people. He does not understand how serious things are right now. And I get a bit frustrated that he doesnt understand that. But, since I disagree, just call me 'threatening'.

Editor: I believe this was it: "I will not let you keep doing this, and I will write a post on everything you write. Until salem-news shuts down my IP address. Then, I will just find a different avenue."

new2site December 19, 2008 4:09 pm (Pacific time)

there is no more time. And your articles suggesting such are going to starve and kill many people. It is YOUR apathy Henry that is going to damage much. I am an extremist in regards to non violence, (Ghandi supporter)but our voices need to be heard NOW. Your "patience" is going to lead us to death. Your false belief in obama will do the same. I will not let you keep doing this, and I will write a post on everything you write. Until salem-news shuts down my IP address. Then, I will just find a different avenue. I am strictly AGAINST violence.
(just wanted to make that clear) :-) I can be mad without being violent. :-)
In conclusion: It is YOUR apathy, and not taking time to learn things because it "hurts" that is wrong.

Editor: OK, this is getting a little weird.  I do not think Henry's articles are going to lead to the death of anyone.  I am against violence also, but I am smart enough to know that somebody has to stick up for people.  I just explained to you in another post that these comments are approved by living people.  If you want to harass us, you will have very little luck and you will irritate us.  That does no good for your argument does it?  Sorry, but your claim to persistence makes us feel a little threatened in some way and I will not ever respond well to that.  I almost suspect that you could be a right wing shill because anyone who really knows Henry's work knows that he is about as peaceful as any person alive.  If I determine that you are a shill, trying to make people of a non-violent nature appear in a negative light, then I will ban your IP and every other one you come up with.  If I misjudged you, then let's all learn from this and accept my apology.

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