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NCrissieB is off this morning, hopefully sleeping in, or raking it in (I've heard Chef and Janitor can be talked into a game faculty meeting at nearly any hour). In any case, as we all need to, she's taking care of herself and hers this morning. So, yesterday, I offered to take care of this morning's diary.

And, I don't know if you've noticed or not, but Morning Feature Saturdays seem to follow a pattern. First, there is the title. If you go back and look at Saturdays  past, you'll find each one is a  "Part III" of something. So, I decided that couldn't be left out.

Each Saturday is designated "Non-Cynical" in parentheses at the end of the title, so I knew I couldn't leave that out.

And, somewhere in between is a bit of a hint as to the thrust and vigor of the piece.

With so much cynicism in political discourse and action regarding HCR in the past year, and the past week, I decided to pause for a moment this morning so we can really reflect on the "non-cynical" that these Saturdays are named for...

HCR Law, Part III
First, just a moment to recognize the excellent writing by FarWestGirl and LI Mike earlier this week. {{{applause}}}

On Monday, NCrissieB wrote of her intentions for this week's 3-part Thursday-Friday-Saturday arc:

We can't be certain how all of its policies will play out, or how it will be discussed. But we can be certain that it will be discussed.

Of course, she was right. And, with these two diaries, plus this humble entry, I dare submit that we have had a strong three-part sequence this week, doing exactly that; discussing these policies, how they will play out, and how they will be discussed from here forward. Thank you, FWG and LIM, for contributing your informed, passionate, and clearly non-cynical voices to the larger discussion.

Non-Cynical
I looked it up, and this is what I found:
Cynical: "skeptical of the integrity, sincerity, or motives of others; bitterly or jadedly distrustful or contemptuous; mocking; showing contempt for accepted moral standards, a feeling of distrust."

I also looked up and found some simple antonyms: naive, gullible, credulous, trusting, unskeptical.

But, cynicism is far from simple, and I've been wondering if there might be a set of words that better express my sense of non-cynical. Words like, "sincere," "idealistic," "humble," and "respectful."

Peopleoverprofits.org
I'll admit, I had my own showdown with this definition and my own thoughts about it just yesterday. I commented in yesterday's diary that I had discovered this: People Over Profits, a website portal purporting itself to be "A Grassroots Action Center, Your Grassroots Network to Protect Civil Justice." I thought, "Great! Sounds interesting, I'll have to explore this further as soon as I can," and I posted the link to MF.

Well, I did some exploring yesterday afternoon.

I discovered the People Over Profits Action Network is sponsored by a group called the American Association for Justice. Now, I have to say, as soon as I saw that, I immediately thought of the Tea Party people and their claims to "grassroots" status while being promoted and supported by Faux News and rightwing professional lobbyists. I felt a twinge of skepticism, especially as in the first part of that definition above, because this now activated that tea party network of associations...

It turns out the American Association for Justice used to have a different name, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America. And, while I happen to agree with some many of the issue positions taken on their website, I was a little disillusioned that the "Grassroots Action Center" and "Grassroots Network" appears to be funded and promoted primarily by a professional organization that includes professional political lobbying as one of its stated activities. That's just not my idea of grassroots. Even when I agree with the policy goals and rationale of the group.

Now, I ask myself, does that make me cynical or skeptical? Is there a difference? Can I be skeptical without being/becoming cynical?

Towards an Answer To My Own Question(s)
Yesterday, I also listened to a great podcast from this website (it auto-plays, so watch your volume first if you click that link). In between segments I heard this most amazing song, and as many of you know, music is important to me. Sometimes, a song can just capture something that typed and/or spoken words just can't. Like a good, solid, real hug.

I typed the lyrics into the Google, and found the original. These are those lyrics that caught my attention, followed by a youtube of the band performing the song.
(BE WARNED: The song changes gears about 2/3 of the way through, and picks up both speed and volume.)

Avett Brothers, The Perfect Space:

I wanna have friends that I can trust,
that love me for the man I’ve become not the man I was.

I wanna have friends that will let me be
all alone when being alone is all that I need.
I wanna fit in to the perfect space,
feel natural and safe in a volatile place.
And I wanna grow old without the pain,
give my body back to the earth and not complain.

Will you understand when I am too old of a man?
And will you forget when we have paid our debt
who did we borrow from?

William Gladstone
Even though the liberalism of his era was necessarily a little different from that of ours, the 4 time British Prime Minister, rival of Benjamin Disraeli, and inspiration to Winston Churchill offered an answer to my question(s), too, over 120 years ago:

"Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear."  -- William Gladstone

How did he know?

I see a lot of people awash in trust this week. A similar feeling to the day after inauguration for those who didn't dare to dream that such a thing as a president named Hussein could come to pass in our lifetimes has washed over many who didn't dare to dream that a HCR bill worthy of the name would become law this year.

I've seen others bathing in distrust and ignorance, and not only wallowing in fear but emanating it, projecting it, spreading it.

For now, I will hold on to the hope that I can be both trusting and skeptical. Idealistic and critically thoughtful.

And I am reminded of FarWestGirl's words from earlier in the week, and I wish you all a truly wonderful Non-Cynical Saturday:

We need to start coming out from under the bed, set aside our defensive crouch and start contributing in a positive way to the national dialog to help get our country back on track. We need to correct the lies, educate those too young to have had either memories or decent history classes. We should be ridiculing the ridiculous, taking a parental tone and tactics with much of the childishness that’s been rampant on the national stage. And we need to communicate our perfectly reasonable expectations for basic, civil, adult conversations and actions without elevating or dignifying the childish behavior whenever possible.

Amen.

Originally posted to Caractacus on Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 04:20 AM PDT.

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