Friday, September 4, 2009

Open mind, close mouth

As I woke this morning to get my daily blog stalker fix, I had two friends write about the same thing. Yesterday Tabbi posted a link on her facebook about this subject. I have been thinking about the last week as well. It is the subject of the political parties and people who belong to them, not being open to any change unless it was the idea of their party. I could site a number of examples of things that Bush did that had Obama done, the conservatives would have had a conniption fit. Likewise, there are some things that Obama has said, that if Bush would have said the same thing you would have thought the world was ending. Without further adieu here is the article.

I would also recommend reading George Washington's farewell address. Here is the part that I thought was the most applicable to this discussion:

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

Guyana orders Mormon missionaries to leave

I came upon this story today on MSNBC:

GEORGETOWN, Guyana - Authorities in Guyana grew "uncomfortable" with the presence of Mormon missionaries who have been ordered to leave the South American country, a governing party leader said Thursday.

About 40 missionaries were briefly detained Wednesday and told to leave within a month as authorities said their travel documents were out of date.

Comments by Donald Ramotar of the governing People's Progressive Party, however, suggested the crackdown went beyond immigration issues.

"While we tolerate all religions, it appears that some officials had become uncomfortable with them around," said Ramotar, the party's general secretary.

Ramotar declined to elaborate. But some government officials and party members said privately that leaders felt the Mormons were too close to opposition figures and also were wary of the church's independent charity work in the interior.

The sources agreed to discuss the matter only if they were not quoted by name because they feared angering their bosses and losing their jobs.

Links to opposition?
Church spokesman Leslie Sobers also raised the issue, saying he thought the government might have been uneasy over perceived links between the Mormons and the opposition.

He said opposition legislator Volda Lawrence traveled to Utah as a guest of the church two years ago, although the church also invited the pro-government head of the race commission, Juan Edghill, to visit.

A lawyer for the church, Nigel Hughes, expressed puzzlement over the deportation order.

"This whole thing is very strange. These people have about $2 million in property in Guyana, do great missionary work and cultivate farms in the country. Why then expel them?" Hughes said.

The main opposition party said the roundup of the missionaries, mainly U.S. citizens, denied the church workers due process and set a bad example as Guyana complains to neighboring countries about the deportation of Guyanese citizens.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been sending missionaries to this former British colony for more than 20 years. About 100 of them are now in Guyana, many of them deep in the country's interior where the government has little presence.