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Jul-28-2008 22:52printcomments

Alliance vs. Friendship

A focus on faith and religion from a Salem-News.com writer who was raised during the Great Depression.

Image courtesy: sweden.se

(PASO ROBLES, Calif.) - The definitions are important in understanding the fundamental difference between how Conservatives and Liberals view the world.

An alliance is an association of groups, people, or nations who agree to cooperate to achieve a common goal. [the key words are “agree to cooperate”]. They don’t always.

Friendship is a relationship between people, organizations, or countries that is characterized by mutual assistance, approval, and support [the key word here is “characterized”]. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, for example.

An alliance is equivalent to a committee, friendship to a mutual admiration society. Conservatives think of the committee as being under the direction of the U.S., a construction Geo. W. Bush [and the Far Right] choose to push as the “decider.” It hasn’t always gone over well with other committee members. Liberals are more inclined to feel they are dealing with equals,

It may have been better if Barack Obama, during his recent trip abroad, had spoken less of allies and more of the friends of the U.S. Still, in his tentative position, it is understandable why he didn‘t. At this stage of the game impression is more important than words, and from all appearances he came off well... It is only natural that McCain and the conservative media would fault him.

Their method deserves some attention; for they criticize Obama by questioning why he did not do as they would have done. McCain has said he believes in peace though power, and it is the refrain of all confirmed conservatives who are unwilling that the U. S. should relinquish its supposed position of primacy and join the ranks of equals. They are the traditionalists, the “worthy bearers” of givens passed down through generations from respected elders. Evangelicals, acting as surrogates, pretend to know God’s will, but cannot. Yet their delivery is so paternal and ancestral as to convince the susceptible of truths more conjectural than valid, and whose purpose is to dominate our minds.

The problem is that by allowing conservatives to act as they do, everyone else is relegated to the “dog’s berth.” If they [or we] do not bend to the will of the master he may punish us, as happened in Iraq and against out Freedoms. Following the Cold War, Vladimir Putin felt Russia would be treated as an equal, but Bush disappointed him when he neglected to tell Putin of his plan to install anti-ballistic missile-sites in Europe.

North Korea and Iran were ignored too until through diplomacy, Korea settled for a treat, When it destroyed its nuclear facility Bush also removed it from his list as a terrorist state. Iran is stubborn, but Obama has the right idea, diplomacy as an indication of friendship that might yet settle differences and eliminate a presumed nuclear threat.

Yet, the Conservative Right, wanting always to be the boss rather than a friend, faults Obama for his good judgment because it does not correspond with its aggressive will. When will they learn that respect and sincere friendship can do more-for-less than the belief in “peace through power” however, and wherever it is exercised?


Kenneth G. Ramey was a 79-year old "writer without a Website" who is generating excellent, provocative articles on the subject of religion. We are pleased that Ken's "lone wolf" presence as a writer in the world is being replaced by a spot on our team of writers at Salem-News.com. Raised in Minnesota and California during the dark years of the Great American Depression, Ken is well suited to talk about the powerful forces in the world that give all of us hope and tragedy and everything in between.

The youngest of four boys raised by mother alone during the depression, his family was on welfare for 9+ years. During and after high school, he worked as an iceman, then drove a beverage truck in San Francisco and Contra Costa counties. At 27, Ken went to work for a bank as an Installment loan man in branches before moving to Administration. In 1971 he left the banking industry and went to college at Glendale Junior College before transferring to San Francisco State Uuniversity. Ken graduated in 1975, and also had three years of Post-Grad study. Ken lives in beautiful Paso Robles, California with his wife. They have a wonderful facility that they built from scratch. You can write to Ken at: kgramey@sbcglobal.net

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Henry Ruark August 5, 2008 12:34 pm (Pacific time)

sts et al: Regret honest disagreement: I do believe your vote needed to express your past resentments for current status quo, expressed here well and reasonably. Retreat to irrelevant third party simply papers over the real damage, and adds more. What we need is more strong people to stand up and be heard re highly damaging and now completely obvious failure of neocon/distorted policies and the plans so forced. Close, careful examination of current information makes that choice simpler by the day, with demonstration and detailed statements now being forced from each as campaign heats up. Then, too, evaluate for yourself those responses, with due attention to which are the "clean shots" on issues and problems, and which are the "dirty shots" devaluating the person, family and followers involved. Tone and target can tell us all a great deal about character as it really is, not as propganda/masters try to make it appear. Thanks for your continuing good participation.

sts August 5, 2008 9:32 am (Pacific time)

I STRONGLY suggest you read the book "Obama Nation' by jerome Corsi. There is no 'lesser of the evils" among the democratics and republicans to vote for. Casting my vote for Chuck Baldwin will not be a wasted vote because he is highly unlikely to win. I will have done my part to keep this country from completely disintegrating. I will at least be able to sleep at night, knowing I gave the effort.

Henry Ruark July 31, 2008 9:58 am (Pacific time)

'Actually" et al: Re judgments by Obama, one starts with "NO" on premptive attack on Iraq to snatch away their sovereign right to their own oil reserves. Then one has choice of whole series-following, contrasting strongly with McCain-start as member of Keating Five-scandal costing taxpayers millions to pay off bank-predation on whole class of depositors. Obama-stance vs Bush-economy moves is fully on record, with continuing contrast vs McCain unquestioned support --and now mirror/image promises by him to continue same ("for 100 years" in Iraq !) extremely damaging neocon (NOT really "conservative" !) erroneous actions. Re "live in Salem", I did, for forty years, with service of ten in state agency; fyi this now become national open, honest,democratic/dialog channel for sharing and mutual learning, rather than personal outlet for political-leanings. IF you have trouble telling the difference, that's your problem, amenable by closer attention to meanings of what is presented here.

Iactuallyliveinsalem July 30, 2008 11:22 pm (Pacific time)

Sweet! Another Liberal Democrat source of grumbling and complaining. "...faults Obama for his good judgment..." What judgement? Where's the record of good judgements? Do you mean the pre-election hot air both sides are spewing? Theoretical answers and political promises are worthless in the real world in my opinion. Without much of a record of judgements to go by, all that's left is to have 'faith' in Obama. I don't like either candidate frankly, but this article is very smelly of Left aloofness.

Henry Ruark July 29, 2008 8:20 am (Pacific time)

Friend Ken: Great to read your first copy, and find this key phrase: "...they criticize Obama by questioning why he did not do as they would have done." Many new findings via the leading cognitive scientists now show clear evidence of difference in brain function among those who so react -- long suspected, now a matter of scientific record. Older findings point out that such differences arise in part from differing life experience, with family and other associations a revealing key --as educational research taught us long ago re major differences in learners, too. Emotional intelligence is essential function far too often overlooked as yours here clearly points out. Welcome to our space and readership, and look for their strong and open and honest comments as further guide for our mutual learnings and sharings --which is heart and soul both of democratic dialog and of democracy itself.

Glen July 29, 2008 6:28 am (Pacific time)

Interesting observation and clearly written. Welcome aboard, Ken.

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