Reason is Six-sevenths of Treason

Children’s fantasies and fables are one of the most effective ways of helping us see our folly as adults. One story that I always cite is that of Dr. Seuss’ Sneetches, a band of creatures who learned that what they had in common was much more important than what separated them.

We live in a time of extremism. Political litmus tests are the rule of the day, not the exception. We see it on the right and the left. If you don’t toe the far left or far right party line you’re vulnerable to attack. Moderation cannot be tolerated. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was an example of how Republicans will start to eat their own. Even mild-mannered Tim Pawlenty felt compelled to use golf club swinging (ala Tiger Woods’ wife) analogies to make his point. From my experience following fellow liberals on Twitter the rhetoric is often just as extreme and intolerant of moderation. This movement toward the extremes carries with it a diminishing intellectual curiosity and contributes to the dumbing down of America.

Thanks to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, I’ve stumbled upon another fable that is instructive and speaks to man’s insistence on conformity to a strict set of rules. If you don’t conform, you’ll find the folks you thought were friends are your worst enemies. Olbermann read this fable by James Thurber on Monday night’s edition of “Countdown”. It resonated with me and I hope it resonates with you.

The Peacelike Mongoose
by James Thurber

In cobra country a mongoose was born one day who didn’t want to fight cobras or anything else. The word spread from mongoose to mongoose that there was a mongoose who didn’t want to fight cobras. If he didn’t want to fight anything else, it was his own business, but it was the duty of every mongoose to kill cobras or be killed by cobras.

‘Why’ asked the peacelike mongoose, and the word went around that the strange new mongoose was not only pro-cobra and anti-mongoose but intellectually curious and against the ideals and traditions of mongoosism.

‘He is crazy,’ cried the young mongoose’s father.

‘He is sick,’ said his mother.

‘He is a coward,’ shouted his brothers.

‘He is a mongoosexual,’ whispered his sisters.

Strangers who never laid eyes on the peacelike mongoose remembered that they had seen him crawling on his stomach, or trying on cobra hoods, or plotting the violent overthrow of Mongoosia.

‘I am trying to use reason and intelligence,’ said the strange new mongoose.

‘Reason is six-sevenths of treason,’ said one of his neighbours.

‘Intelligence is what the enemy uses,’ said another.

Finally, the rumour spread that the mongoose had venom in his sting, like a cobra, and was tried, convicted by a show of paws, and condemned to banishment.

MORAL: Ashes to ashes, and clay to clay, if the enemy doesn’t get you your own folks may.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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14 thoughts on “Reason is Six-sevenths of Treason

  1. Aren’t you embarrassed to reference something from Keith Olbermann, the slithering cobra? Using material touched by Keith Olbermann is like using Pol Pot quoting the beatitudes.

    And here I was tonight already to convince you of a peaceful solution I was formulating. Splitting the country. I think it is the best long-term solution. Really! 😆

    Guess that will have to wait until tomorrow. Since Hippie is now repulsed by me, I was going to add fuel to the flame without polluting his board. I hope I haven’t chased the cordial Hippie off.

  2. Forget Olbermann, think Thurber. As for Hippie I doubt he is nearly as idle as you or I. I’m sure that accounts for his erratic activity level.

    You think? He just doesn’t know how good we’ve got it Rutherford!

    I am sure you’re right. And you can add after my rants on his board, pulling at the beard thinking, “I had no idea how frickin’ mad these people are. How in the world do you respond to something like that?” 😛

    You should offer lessons!

  3. Rutherford, perhaps you can answer a couple questions before this thread turns into another religious debate:

    1) Did you know a gay conservative group was invited to, and appeared, at CPAC? How extreme do you think that is?

    2) Did you know a guy got on stage at CPAC to talk shit about the gay conservative group, and was booed off the stage by the crowd? How extreme do you think that is?

    3) Is a verbal gay-basher being booed off the stage by conservatives just another example of the GOP eating its own?

    4) What in the holy hell does jokes about Tiger Wood’s wife have to do with moderation or extremism?

    If you are going to use a convention of conservatives to make your point about something, it might help to know just WTF you are talking about. And that is an education you are obviously NOT going to get by constantly parrotting a washed-up sports reporter.

  4. Ah LOL LOL LOL, I know you get more of me than you need on this blog but you do need to start listening to The Rutherford Lawson Show on BlogTalkRadio.

    On the show I have a feature called Twerp of the Week. Two weeks ago, Ryan Sorba, the CPAC gay basher to which you’re referring was my Twerp of the Week. I said, to paraphrase “You know you’re a twerp when you’re so hateful that you get booed off the CPAC stage.” And I have to wonder if the booing had to do with his homophobia or more his direct criticism of CPAC. One never knows.

    Sorba was a rare exception to the fully accepted vitriol of the CPAC. As for Pawlenty, after David Gregory played his Tiger Woods comment on Meet the Press, he then asked Pawlenty how he felt he could be taken seriously. The comment was out of character. Pawlenty is as wishy washy as they come and attempting to sound tough just made him look the fool. But he knows he can kiss a Pres candidacy in 2012 goodbye if he sounds too moderate.

    I stand by my assessment.

  5. Dr, exactly. What makes this stink even more- this less than one day after proposing O- Plan B and saying that special deals weren’t allowed….unless I make them…. or Rhambo recommends them….. or they might actually get this pig passed…. still without ANY popular support.

    Come one R, I want to hear you justify the judgeship. Explain to us how this is any different than the last round of bribery and kickbacks…

  6. Alfie,

    I read and then reread, and best I can tell its about until I got to the moral of the story, it was about as close as Keith Olbermann could possibly demonstrate for us a new and better way, to help explain Leftist exclus’ve clarity of thought. If I’m not mistaken, the author was an inspiration to flakes like Kurt Vonnegut and Johnny Depp, possibly explaining why sane humans might struggle with understanding the material.

    But then I got to the moral and I was left scratching my head if this is simple paranoia – kind of bad parable of how even Bomba rubes are starting to question his divinity.

    So like most things Rutherford, I decided there is no purpose. 😛

  7. Rutherford & Hippie,

    Back on my topic of discussion, these words have been running thru my mind as of late concerning our disputes about amongst other things, healthcare:

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    Isn’t it about time and overdue to come to an agreement that as we have come to an impasse, our differences too broad, our tenets unmatched, our wishes and dreams polar opposites, that maybe it is time to get serious about the above considerations before blood shed?

    I mean, do you know how easy it would be for me to promote uncoupling myself from the party of Caligula the Curator?

  8. the author was an inspiration to flakes like Kurt Vonnegut and Johnny Depp, possibly explaining why sane humans might struggle with understanding the material.

    Vonnegut did have a moment of stark clarity. In it he wrote the novel ‘Mother Night’.

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    Isn’t it about time and overdue to come to an agreement that as we have come to an impasse, our differences too broad, our tenets unmatched, our wishes and dreams polar opposites, that maybe it is time to get serious about the above considerations before blood shed?

    You know, I was driving to work today and listening to the discussion about the impending Federal Land Grab, the impending reconcilliation of the Great Health Care Takeover of 2010, and the coincidental nomination to the bench of a reluctant Democrat’s brother to the 10th Circuit, and I started thinking about “a long train of abuses”

  9. There is absolutely no evidence that the Obama administration had set-up a quid pro quo. The nomination had already been made earlier. Sen. Orrin Hatch had already praised Matheson’s nomination.

    What leverage did Obama have on the blue dog Congressman if he had already announced the nomination of his brother, who also had already been in the running for this position since June?

    Grasping at straws.

  10. Matheson was never on board with the House bill. That is why he voted no. The Senate bill was an entirely different animal. He is on record stating back in December that he supports the Senate planned “tax on so-called Cadillac plans.”

    Yet now you guys want to say he has swayed from “No” to “undecided”, all because of his brother.

    Give me a break.

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