Sun, Oct 3, 2004 - 12:25:07 AM
There are higher laws
than the ledger and the sword.
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UITE A BIT, in fact. In addition to the recent great expansion, the site has now been recoded in a manner that will greatly streamline further updates. And speaking of updates: I'm also splitting the site.
The Common Sense Alliance is dead. Long live the Solidarity Alliance.
Yes, the rumors are true: The Common Sense Alliance, as such, no longer exists. This has come about for three reasons.
Meanwhile, I had been gradually reaching the conclusion that the alliance should be renamed in any case, better to reflect its defining imperative. Certainly, we believe in what I had in mind in founding the alliance: common-sense laws, institutions and state behavior corresponding to rationality rather than reflex. But more centrally, the alliance is about unity, about common cause, about solidarity. If we would regain the initiative and restore the forward momentum of societal evolution, we must set aside our individual ideologies and polemics and become one irresistible force.
A schism and a metamorphosis
Taken together, all of these reflections induced me to discuss the matter with some of the senior members and rename the alliance. It is now the Solidarity Alliance. I also have secured the domain name and web space, and am now preparing to unveil the new site.
SolidarityAlliance.com will contain all that is now in the Nation & World subdomain, the Progressive/Anti-Bush section of the Links subdomain, and parts of the Humor subdomain to impart a hint of levity. I am substantially rewriting the Alliance's statement of principles, and the site will not go up until that is complete. Since the Alliance is intended as the core of the Unity Party, those principles will also constitute the charter platform appearing in the subdomain to be created for the party. There will also be plentiful new material addressing the multifarious national and international issues that will be the site's metier and raison d'être.
We now return to your local news already in progress
Meanwhile, Squort.com will undergo a few changes of its own, essentially in the direction of becoming more personal and local. The Santa Cruz section will become its political focus, with the Business Watch and Health Watch pages supplemented by a new Issues subsection, while chess will become a separate subdomain unto itself. The Nation & World Section will still be accessible, but will actually be a part of the new site, while a California subdomain will be added to the old. Thus, Squort.com will concern itself with my home state and, more particularly, my home county. It will also retain, however, its personal, quirky side; the qualities that make it what it has been and will remain: the warthog references, the family and biographical pages, and the entire humor section (although the latter may be partially duplicated on the new site).
What's this "2.0" nonsense?
N ACTUALITY, of course, the "2.0" is a bit misleading. Obviously, this is a web site, not an application, and therefore doesn't really have version numbers.
Nonetheless, I hope you will pardon me this conceit. I call this "2.0" because it really is quite a new (and improved, I think) version of the site. For one thing, it's now more than three times as big as the original, with 50 pages instead of 15. For another, it is now completely redesigned, with six subdomains to allow for further, inevitable expansion. For a third, those subdomains are directly accessible via tabbed navigation: You need only click on any of the tabs atop the pages to transfer to any subdomain index; and from there, you can find any page within the subdomain in the menu at left. Should you have any difficulty, there is also now a site map listing all the pages. (There is one exception to this, but that's for you to discover ... if you haven't already.)
The purpose of this massive undertaking: to allow the expansion that will permit Squort.com to accommodate the many new materials being added to it, while preserving a clear site structure that allows you to get from any given page to any other given page within two clicks. Later expansions will possibly add further subdomains and accompanying navigation tabs, but the fundamental structure is now finally in place and those expansions are still far away, or at least in the middle distance.
I am an American, and proud enough of my heritage to have served honorably and well in the Navy for eight years. But somewhere in recent years, we have collectively taken a drastically wrong turn. On issues as diverse as civil rights and taxes, war and religion, we have gone astray, and this is no longer the America I grew up in, no longer the America of our ideals.
We have "elected" an administration that is dedicated not to the freedom and security to which it pays such constant lip service, but to building an empire, to promoting its own insular concepts of social, economic and religious tenets, and to no small amount of opportunistic self-enrichment, all cloaked in code phrases and hypocritical doublespeak that doubtless has George Orwell spinning in his grave at 78 rpm. War crimes, torture, erosion of civil rights, disregard of environmental degradation and the slow dissolution of America's middle class concern this junta not at all; in fact, they find meretricious arguments to fool (they hope) enough of the people enough of the time to appear strong, decisive and determined to defend the very freedoms they are themselves dismantling.
It is time to remove these battening leeches from their ill-gained offices.
It is time to rebuild the America that was once the lodestone of the world's oppressed and persecuted and the exemplar of liberty. Time to reclaim human rights and dignity. Time to restore forward progress in societal evolution.
This will take an enormous amount of will and work. And that in turn will require reminding our fellow citizens of what is at stake, regaining the initiative through grassroots effort, and reversing this slide into a synthetic past that never existed outside the minds of the radical right.
Our deadliest enemies are propaganda and complacency. As long as America doesn't know what's really going on, there is no chance of correcting our course.
The Trans-Spectral Alliance
I am therefore proposing a grand alliance comprising everyone from progressives to paleoconservatives (who, to give them credit, have begun increasingly to acknowledge that we've gone disastrously astray) who is not satisfied to see America run aground. A tremendous part of this is reflected in the new Progressive and Anti-Bush Sites pages, which I hope to expand into a comprehensive directory of resources dedicated, among other things, to toppling the Bush kleptoplutocracy and restoring what it has stolen from us.
The Sente Project
In the Japanese strategy game Go (called Wei-Chi in China), sente refers to the initiative, to proactivity and control of the tempo and course of the game.
In recent years, progressive forces in America have been stymied, as the radical right has slowly and stealthily taken command of the direction of the nation's ongoing political debate. This has allowed the synthesis of a cycle of reinforcement wherein the right can call the opposition negative and bereft of ideas of its own, while the left has been thrown on the defensive, trying merely to lose as little ground as possible.
This must be reversed. Hence the Sente Project, through which we who believe that we must mindfully negotiate the course of continuing societal evolution will articulate the precepts and policies that distinguish us from both the right and the traditional left. We, the citizens, will become the source for new solutions, and we, the citizens, will regain the initiative that was always ours to keep or lose.
Issues, essays and initiatives
Other projects include a series of essays on the invasion and occupation of Iraq and other issues (coming soon: an examination of the gay-marriage question) designed to present the facts and correct the fallacies about these often propaganda-distorted matters; a series of shorter essays taking titular inspiration from revolutionary patriot Thomas Paine and called the Common Sense Series; and, on a more local level, opening a discussion of the business and health-care issues affecting my hometown, Santa Cruz, California. There is also quite a bit else I've added to these pages, but this is just a home page and it would be inappropriate to try to introduce them all here.
Explore the site. And I hope you will have some fun along the way, for the issues are serious, but humor is often all that stands between us and madness.
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