Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Advocate could earn a Pulitzer Prize ed 7/23/15


This is a rant inspired by The Advocate’s article, “Dispute between CATS CEO Mirabito, union officials ends negotiating session before it starts; one official says he was fired at the meeting,” June 3, 2015; see http://theadvocate.com/news/12550192-123/dispute-between-cats-ceo-mirabito and more, as written below. My thoughts, until I propose the Pulitzer Prize work below, follows chronology, so I am going to use headings to help the reader navigate the message.
 
Neglected culture of the preamble  to the Constitution for the USA
 
                What cultures are at stake in Baton Rouge? I first appealed to The Advocate to set a date certain when my hometown newspaper will lead us to character instead of racism by not reporting skin color; I don’t want to see, “Phil Beaver, who is white,” when I could see “Phil Beaver who has written to propose solutions to tough social issues for twenty years.” Then I appealed to Beyond Bricks EBR, who reported demographic data labeled "black" v "white," when I think education variables of concern do not relate to skin color. I think key variables include who is the home care giver, what's the ratio of TV time to study time, and such. I want an over-arching culture of a civic people whose no-harm sub-cultures flourish without harm.

Black theology and Black liberation theology



                This winter, simultaneously, I took special interest in Beyond Bricks EBR starting February 10 and Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr.’s February 19 speech at Southern University.[i] Although it was a warm experience, the Wright event and subsequent studies informed me of cultures I do not agree with. But I don't have to agree to be a civic person, as long as the sub-culture does not promote harm. At the Beyond Bricks “Listening” meeting at University Baptist Church, I stated that DNA informs us that everyone alive is kin, and therefore racism is obsolete; EBRPSS statistics should no longer be focused on skin color but should turn to character traits. A minister to my left quietly said she agreed. Martin Luther King’s “Dream Speech,” never leaves my mind but it expresses divided influences: character and check cashing.

                I discovered how uniformed--ignorant--I am when Wright’s SRO audience stood as Wright led the acapella, unison singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which I did not know. Afterwards, I expressed disappointment with 1) a civically divisive speech at a state-sponsored university and 2) that I had not heard the “Star Spangled Banner.” Early during the event, I hoped to hear the National Anthem, thinking Wright’s 2003 sermon with its famous “flag burning” was, in its culturally distinct way, nevertheless patriotic. But I learned that I had stood for the Black National Anthem. I asked Beyond Bricks EBR officials to help me understand, but encountered a brick wall. Since then, I learned from a friend and neighbor that it is a cultural development based on maintaining self-respect in an alienating country--citizens of the USA alienated in their country. I now understand it as a cultural entity and reaction to Jim Crow laws and all the rest of the sordid history, but think its civic utility has passed. It is time for a civic people in their states to establish the preamble to the Constitution for the USA and reform accordingly. It is time for a civic people to establish themselves as a super-majority in opposition to the unaware, the dissident, the wayward, the criminal, the evil, and the other egocentric and harmful inhabitants who comprise the rest of "We the People of the United States."

Religious scripture conflicts the theory of evolution

                In the meantime, an anthropologist, Katherine, kindly motivated me to study harder and write a more accurate statement about kinship of everyone alive. Mitochondrial DNA has been informing humankind for almost a half century now that everyone alive is a descendent of one of the women who died some 140,000 to 200,000 years ago; other evolutionary blood lines died out. Notice, this was one of the women in blood lines that had evolved for 2.6 million years and more, so our distant mother of mothers apparently does not relate to the Adam and Eve story. Blood lines from contemporary women did not survive subsequent evolution—did not adapt to their environments.

                EBRP library discussions about "the ethics of physics"[ii] increased my understanding, and after June 20, urged by Doug Johnson and the other participants, I realized that "physics-based ethics" is a better expression. I hope this change pleases many people online, such as Ryan Benoit and Gavin Coldwell, not to slight others who objected. A simple, soft application of physics-based ethics is that people do not lie to each other in civic debate; someone who lies to a civic person will doubt the statements of the civic person. In physics-based ethics, humankind discovers, works to understand, and intends to benefit from physics: physics cannot be denied. When reared in a Christian community---and I willfully continued the indoctrination into adulthood---it is difficult to achieve the psychological plasticity[iii] to admit to self that "the word of god," ancient men's claims that they have higher opinion, conflicts discovered physics. It is even harder to personally react. I have been working on admitting that the objective truth does not submit to the word of god for two decades. Each person must separate constructed hopes from civic needs if separation of church and state will happen: that justice will not come from either church or state.

                I understand religion to be one method of sensing comfort[iv] against the unknowns such as death and afterdeath, so I do not recommend anyone give up precious religion. However, it seems prudent to pay attention to the theory of evolution and the cosmos. After all, a cosmic collision drastically changed the 4.6 billion year old Earth about 65 million years ago—wiped out the dinosaurs. For example. I was so “indoctrinated in the faith,” as I stood before displays at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Natural History[v]; I somehow accepted both what I was viewing and the word of god. I did not consider them in conflict. However, some six decades later, it seems to me the word of god depends on the person who is representing it, whether the person is alive or ancient, while the displays in the museum are undisputed evidence that support a theory: The theory of evolution. (Governor Bobby Jindal, with his biology major and support for teaching creationism in Louisiana public schools[vi] awoke me to the need to oppose his contradictions and others.) I am reminded of a quote from the literature[vii]: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” It seems alright to consider a god is responsible for everything, but beyond that thought, it seems prudent to learn about evolution rather than improve interpretation of "scripture."

"Black refers to culture, not skin color"

                I reiterated at the Beyond Bricks EBR report meeting on May 14 my Katherine-informed assertion that racism is obsolete and data should no longer be reported on skin color. By a show of hands, one of about sixty people thought my mtDNA statement was possibly defensible. Four thought the theory of evolution should be considered, and one of the four, a minister, I had to persuade to hold up his hand. I think I was experiencing group think--institutional mendacity--by the faith-based officials who were present. The official response was: Our report of data according to black and white is neither racism (speech by Maxine Crump) nor about skin color but rather about culture (Dr. Taylor). What culture?[viii],[ix] Connecting the dots---1) Rev Wright’s black church and black theology, 2) Beyond Bricks EBR’s legislative prayers on May 14 only, and 3) culture---I discovered Black theology[x] and Black liberation theology[xi]. I also ran across a reminder of “Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan . . . at Southern University [with] the message of black nationalism.”[xii] I want a culture of civic ("civic" meaning connected by necessity rather than socially connected, a matter of preference) people, wherein most neighbors candidly collaborate on civic morality. A civic people 1) organize civic issues by the updated, literal preamble to the Constitution for the USA and 2) mediate compromise with physics-based ethics when common-sense opinion differs. The other faction of “We the People of the United States,” would be the minority, comprised of the unaware, dissident, wayward, egocentric, criminal, evil, and others who want domestic alienation. I think most people would like to be a civic people but cannot overcome the mistaken idea that other inhabitants need to know their religion or specific culture. My religion is nobody's business; that is, my religion has no bearing on a civic issue.

Controlling variables in public education

                I attended the June 4 Beyond Bricks “Community Results” session at Bluebonnet Library, to try to learn more about "the culture." I saw a criterion respecting enrollments with at least 30% free or reduced-price lunch students, which is an indication of poverty. I have long argued with Noel Hammatt that poverty is a variable that masks the controlling variables, and the federal government uses poverty to hide the facts about child neglect and abuse. Maybe the controlling variable is empathy toward the child from home, or the ratio of entertainment time to study time, or nutrition, or health and hygiene, or drugs, or actual abuse. Our group discussed education management and Mr. McDonald suggested that the goal of 90% graduation rate is unrealistic because some students do not want to learn. He also asserted that transferring sound, basic education to students empowers them to handle whatever future they face. He changed, after some forty years my view of Kahlil Gibran's wonderful poem "On Chidren," from The Prophet, 1923: you recognize that your children are not yours but rather their own persons. But their education is your responsibility and what they do with it is their responsibility: you'd better alert them to physics-based ethics. In a side conversation, I related my recent discovery of Black church and Black theology, and the neighbor looked and spoke to me as though I am an alien.  I get the feeling that people in the Beyond Bricks EBR look down on me because I was previously unaware of an inner black culture. I’m not impressed, because they are not aware of the inner white culture when your lifetime goal has been both personal liberty and domestic goodwill. I kept my three children in public schools to support that dream, but failed to study with them as I should have under the circumstance. On their own accomplishments and with excellent teachers, they graduated college despite my failures. My family is my greatest asset.

Check cashing

                At every opportunity, I express opposition to the Congressional Black Caucus[xiii] and associated organizations. It’s supposed to counter 200 years of “Congressional white caucus.” However, that is a distorted, egocentric, view of this country’s history. The disputed[xiv] African slave trade that may have built the pyramids in Egypt but is nonetheless both ancient and extant[xv] represents a wrongful event in humankind’s progress toward civic morality. Equally wrongful is the Catholic Church’s repeated approval of Portuguese slave trading, beginning with papal bulls from 1452, affirmed in 1515 by Pope Leo.[xvi] Five European countries acted on the papal bulls, some mimicking with Protestant charters, and the Doctrine of Discovery developed. Any land that was not already claimed by a Christian official was fair to take, regardless of the aboriginals[xvii], and importing slaves was authorized; Europeans, Africans later Chinese[xviii] and other enslavements in occupied lands were acceptable. It is no wonder that some American Indians consider their ownership of this land predates the Doctrine of Discovery.
                Appeals for American abolition started as early as 1665,[xix] and Thomas Paine wrote a scathing letter against slavery in 1775, blaming Europe and Christianity for a burden on the colonies.[xx] But everything changed in April, 1775, when English colonists were fired upon by the British army, invoking the “shot heard around the world.” About 40% of the free inhabitants of the Eastern seaboard states, the thirteen states under the Articles of Confederation, started the journey to both personal liberty and domestic goodwill in this country. The first step was freedom from England, declared and fought for by English citizens--a civil war of sorts until the French joined and made it a France versus England battle at Yorktown, VA in 1781. The second step was freedom from religious oppression, which was granted by the 1787 preamble to the Constitution for the USA. Freedom to think was put in jeopardy by the negotiated promise of a Bill of Rights as a condition for ratification in 1788, and eliminated by the first Congress in 1789, when it instituted legislative theism. A negligent people have let it be that way ever since. See more of this discussion, below. However, the point I want to make is that every one of us living inhabitants is struggling for freedom from the past: We should not divide ourselves on the past. Also, I think it is impossible to consider retributions, because inhabitants need to focus on establishing both personal liberty and domestic goodwill now and for posterity (children, grandchildren, and beyond).

                I expressed to the twelve members of the Metro Council in a joint email my request that they act to unite Baton Rouge. They were elected by their districts to be a team. We should not be continually reminded by Ms Marcelle that she wants our CATS CEO replaced without question; she rebukes Baton Rouge suffering of past CATS mismanagement by people of an egocentric culture. I object to her lack of appreciation for the taxes homeowners pay for two reasons: 1) because homeowners have to pay due to a deceptive faith-based Together Baton Rouge, BRAC, and BRAF tax plan that hid bus maintenance capital and bus capital, and 2) because civic homeowners think a sound bus service is infrastructure. Ms Edwards, without complaints from the public nonetheless has an opinion about a confrontation she apparently did not attend. Why opine and why not consider that the union should not offer contract negotiations with disputed representatives? Ms Collins-Lewis quite admirably did not comment, perhaps because she did not have all the attainable facts yet. Thank goodness, my councilman, John Delgado, for whom I would never vote (unless he demonstrates reform to appreciation of the preamble and physics-based ethics), is atypically not cited in this article.
It seems to me elected and appointed officials cooperate in a scheme of check cashing, and Ms Allen mentions it with “But the CATS Board . . . in April showed its support by giving him a nearly 20 percent raise, making Mirabito one of the highest-paid public officials in East Baton Rouge Parish government.” Officials are pricing themselves out of the viable market, but Mirabito is not the perpetrator of that harm to the people. Also, lawyers and judges are pricing governance itself out of the market: not only will neighbors not talk to each other, their representatives won't talk to each other. Everybody wants to pay a lawyer to force their opinion on others.
The Advocate’s article writers and caption writers

                The party I hold most responsible for the threat against home owners’ annual contributions to CATS is The Advocate and their writers, in this case Rebekah Allen and caption writers, both for the article and for the photos. All of them seem to be representing the hearsay against Mr. Mirabito. It does not seem that the principal antagonist, Ray Rigera, whose opinion The Advocate asserts, was present. On reading this story, if I were to be the editor or ombudsman, I’d prevent the lead line, which is, “Already unpopular with much of the rank and file of his own agency, CATS CEO Bob Mirabito’s relationship with union leaders plummeted to a new low this week after a dispute erupted during a meeting to negotiate the employee union contract.” I’d require revision to something like, “CATS CEO Bob Mirabito sturdily defends the existing management contract. Confronted with union representatives bringing unqualified employees to the first scheduled contract negotiation meeting, Mr. Mirabito cited the appropriate contract clause. Self-justified, the culturally defiant union representatives walked out of the meeting.” Mr Mirabito is doing a great job dealing with a well-entrenched culture of defiance, and I don’t want Ms Allen’s biased reporting to add to his woes. She does not seem to realize my subscription to The Advocate would pay half my CATS tax, and on a fixed income I constantly look for expenses to cut. Her bosses ought to remind her, but maybe they are executing a business plan destined to fail. Exciting emotions might work for national news, but the hometown newspaper needs to help solve problems, not exacerbate them.


Baton Rouge positioned to excel

                I think Baton Rouge, suffering misguided federal governance, is uniquely postured to 1) candidly identify the cultural divides it suffers, 2) create a plan to overcome the divides, and 3) continually improve the plan as it enacts it. If I did not think so, I would not be writing on the subject. The Advocate could lead this city to become a model for reform before the nation and the world. Everywhere, the culture of a civic people can help factional, no-harm cultures flourish, as they should.

Some chief causes of divide

                The Advocate is in the position to write for a Pulitzer Prize, because the nation’s cultural problems and potential solutions are right here in river city.
                The Advocate could start by separating its supernatural beliefs from it civic obligations. For example, either move G.E. Dean’s “Today’s thought,” from the opinion section to “EatPlayLive,”or balance it each day with something from the theory of evolution. It is time for a civic people to realize that gods are representatives of each believers’ mind and thus the first gods on this continent were perhaps red, then came beige, brown, and white, then black, then yellow, and gray and so on. And all those skin colors represent people who are kin! Nonetheless, all the gods and none that motivate civic behavior rather than alienation should be appreciated. And The Advocate could lead all media from using capital "G" to defy whatever, if anything, controls the unfolding of what is, and thereby admit that Exodus 20:7 could be true. What if Exodus 20:7 is true!!! And only religious institutions that keep their canon in compliance with United States law may operate here.[xxi] When laws are broken, churches here must face the facts.
                The Advocate could create a feature series on historical fulfillment of Chapter XI Machiavellianism[xxii]. The series could include the council of Nicea, 325[xxiii]; the Magna Carta, an agreement between English nobles and Catholic Bishops signed by an egocentric king, 1215[xxiv]; the Continental Congress, 1774[xxv]; no legislative prayer during the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 1787; (unconstitutional IMO) establishment of legislative prayer by Congress, 1789[xxvi],[xxvii]; Supreme Court opines legislative prayer for state legislatures, 1983,[xxviii] and towns, 2014[xxix]. This and more evidence shows that the US Government, regardless of the US Constitutional Convention, does not separate church and state. The Advocate could include the development of “Black theology and the Black church”[xxx]. It is a misguided theology that is hurting anyone who falls for it. “There is but one guiding principle of black theology: an unqualified commitment to the black community as that community seeks to define its existence in the light of God's liberating work in the world.”[xxxi] However, if a civic people separate private pursuits from civic needs, separation of church and state will follow. Officials of the state and officials of the church may be of a civic people, too, if they choose to be.
                The Advocate could create a series on African slavery beginning earlier than the building of the pyramids. It could ask, "If its a black god, why didn't abolition originate in Africa?" Cover the Catholic Church’s papal bulls of 1452 and beyond involving European governments in slavery, later mimicked by the document of discovery. It could detail that the 1774 patriots who established freedom from England and set the path to freedom for everyone alive in the USA today. It could review the many writers for abolition of slavery from the American colonies, including Thomas Paine in 1775. It could review the importance of the Civil War: white Americans killing white Americans--no where near an analog to the Holocaust. It could argue that being white in America during Jim Crow era was painful for civic white Americans. I could be interviewed for this article to say that black people, who cannot relate to how it felt to be white when injustice to black people was common but not by me, are racists. I celebrated from head to toe when I thought I was seeing justice at last on my family's TV screen in 1963. I celebrated again as my wife and I agreed that keeping our 1970s children in public schools was the right thing to do. Now, I feel betrayed by the check cashing part of Martin Luther King’s dream speech, the Congressional Black Caucus, and James Cone's books. I never imagined that a citizen could think the preamble was not intended for them.
 
                The Advocate could write about either giving a person a fish or teaching her/him how to catch a fish; about the difference between forced slavery and voluntary slavery; about a people helping only those people who can’t help themselves but giving those who can do but don’t do the chance to decide to do; about a culture of dependency never to envision cooperative autonomy; about satisfaction with risky, short living instead of the pursuit of psychological maturity that can come with a full life; about entitlement a poor substitute for collaborative personal liberty and domestic goodwill.

                The Advocate could write about elite education and the modern opportunity for each person, by deliberately working at it, to have an elite education. Instill the idea that education is not an entitlement but is a duty to self, and that each person must take charge for herself or himself. Elite education is available today through the Internet, and The Advocate should be promoting online education for people in Baton Rouge—not just for children but for adults.

                The Advocate could write about capitalism and the growing alienation of the affluent and the super rich from even the middle class. It is the divide into which elected and appointed government officials are being willfully drafted--increasing their salaries to multiples of the average. The culture of wealth—of uneven distribution of this country’s market, the most fantastic in the world--is perhaps the most daunting problem a civic people face. Let me repeat that thought: this country has the world's most productive market, but less than 1% of inhabitants "share" in that market. Capitalism must not be replaced, but must be improved. It’s hard enough to persuade the homeless to join A Civic People of the United States. How does a civic people persuade 70% of the top 0.01% of taxpayers, some 12,000 adults, to be of a Civic People of the United States? This challenge must be faced, and The Advocate can lead the way. I recently posted a proposal for incentives based parental planning that would provide resulting progeny a stake in American capitalism, so no one lives under the mendacity that labor is the way to the American dream.
                The Advocate could create a feature series on the emergences from physics, beginning 13.7 billion yeas ago at the advent of physics itself---energy, mass and space-time---with subsequent physical developments and evolutions leading to humankind and the intellectual pursuits: art, fiction, lies, beliefs, and ethics. The series could be designed to help inhabitants realize the importance of physics to the pursuit of personal interests, including religion, which extends beyond physics into other worldly thought.Separation of church and state

                In 1802, Thomas Jefferson claimed separation of church and state. It is needed. In 1790, free Americans were essentially Christian, 99% Protestant and 1% Catholic. In 2015, the population is only 70% Christian, and non-theists number above 23%. Moreover, legislative gods have influenced inhabitants to brook unjust wars, such as the American Civil War and the invasion of Iraq. Domestic and foreign god-wars are very costly. What in the world is this country thinking to have a papal joint session with Congress in September 2015? Surely they’ll come to their senses and find a face-saving way to cancel. No gods and gods can flourish in this country when people practice their beliefs in private settings and only bring civic issues to civic negotiations and that includes Congress, the Administrations, and the Supreme Court: The members of the three branches are all simply people, with no divine qualities. The Advocate could lead the cause for civic governance.

A Civic People of the United States
                Admitting that the time for Christian dominance in the governance of this nation has passed, and that means that Christianity can strengthen its value to believers, is the first step wherein The Advocate could lead. Believers, with their intent to save their souls no longer need to battle non-believers. The second step is to find an alternative means of determining civic morality and justice. By all means, neither state government, nor federal government, nor the people themselves is adequate for this challenge. However, physics exists and cannot be changed by reason, faith, words, force, opinion, or any other human power. Therefore, physics can serve as the mediator in negotiating common sense solutions for civic issues that arise due to necessary contact with other persons. By understanding the physics of a civic issue and developing the best means of benefiting from the physics—minimizing human misery and loss—a people can establish physics-based ethics for each case and build an enter-related system. Thereby, the security and viability for liberty according to no-harm personal opinion can be established. This is not my idea: It's Albert Einstein's 1941 idea, discussed elsewhere, "Physics-based Ethics: Civic Example," in this blog.
                A theory for establishing supervision of governance of by and for a people using 1) candid discussion of civic needs, 2) the preamble for organization of goals, and 3) physics-based ethics to mediate common-sense opinion, is emerging in EBRP library meetings. The Advocate, the Metro-Council, Beyond Brick EBR, Southern University, LSU, local churches, and other civic groups could get involved. We think 70% of people in every civil special-interest group would want this theory in practice as soon as possible. First, each person must examine what special interest he/she wants to pursue and how to meld it into an over-arching culture of personal freedom and domestic goodwill. In the case of religion, it is easy: My religion is nobody's civic business.

                With these wonderful possibilities at hand, there is no excuse for Baton Rouge to continue the kind of dysfunction that is exhibited by the biased reporting in The Advocate’s CATS story, “Dispute Between CATS CEO . . . ,” June 3, 2015. The Advocate's bias wastes my tax money.
                Please use the comment box at the end of this post.

Copyright©2015 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included. Original, 8/5/2015 on promotethepreamble.blogspot.com 60 views before 03/04/16,  revised on July 23, 2015.


[i] Phil Beaver, “Not hung up on Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s flag burning,” February 3, 2015. Find online by Google search.
[ii] Phil Beaver, “The Ethics of Physics: Civic Examples,” May 7, 2015, in “Discussion” at promotethepeamble.blogspot.com.
[iii] Kolb, Brian et. al., “Brain Plasticity and Behavior,” online at http://www.psychologicalscience.org/journals/cd/12_1/Kolb.cfm .
[iv] Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge, 1958.
[v] Smithsonian’s, for example, about humans, online at http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/homo-neanderthalensis .
[vi] Louisiana Science Education Act, see online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Science_Education_Act .
[vii] The Bible, I Corinthians 13:11.
[ix] Charles Murray, “The New American Divide,” January 21, 2012, online at http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204301404577170733817181646

[xiii] Congressional Black Caucus. See online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Black_Caucus .
[xiv] Jimmy Dunn, “Slaves and Slavery in Ancient Egypt,” online at http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/slaves.htm
[xviii] Chinese Slavery in America. Charles Frederick Holder. The North American Review, Vol. 165, No. 490 (Sep., 1897) , pp. 288-294. Published by: University of Northern Iowa Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25118876
[xix] Christianity and slavery, online at http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_slav3.htm .
[xx] Thomas Paine, “African Slavery in America,” March 8, 1775, online at http://www.constitution.org/tp/afri.htm .
[xxii] So often writers refer to Machiavellianism without clarifying the date, 1513 or 1531, and I speculate such writers have not read the works. I have adopted the practice used herein to be specific. I refer to The Prince, Chapter XI, 1513, which I paraphrase: A prince lucky enough to rule a people who believe in a god need only team up with the clergy and both authorities can live however they want and treat the people however they want, and the people will neither rebel nor leave the country; anyone who would question the situation is a fool.
[xxix] Online at www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/12-696   .
[xxxi] Re, Rev. Jeremiah Wright in 2008. Online at http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2008/04/02/marxist-roots-black-liberation-theology.