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|Check out the new Motor City Kossacks banner below! If you're in the vicinity check the NEW EVENT. Contact peregrine kate and check out yesterday's diary Motor City Kossacks: Meet-up Sat. 7/20, 12-3 PM. Could it be in Hell?.|
Today I want to say a few words about evil. I'd like to hear your thoughts, too. Follow me below the double gnocchi or just skip to the good stuff.
The title of this diary is a little misleading. It's not really about Dick Cheney. But it is about evil. I don't think Dick Cheney is evil. I don't think Adolf Hitler was evil. That is because I do not set myself up to judge other human beings. What I do judge are actions, and generally the person is responsible for his/her actions in my book. I am not excusing evil; I want "evildoers" punished. But I don't judge souls.
I know I have committed some evil acts. I haven't killed anybody, but I have done things I am ashamed of. What if I had been brought up in different circumstances? I had loving parents and a Norman Rockwell childhood. What if things had been very different? I am reminded of a clip from the great movie "Chinatown." The character played by John Huston has fathered a daughter by his older daughter (a truly evil act), and when confronted by a detective played by Jack Nicholson, he says,
I don't blame myself. You see, Mr. Gittes, most people never have to face the fact that at the right time and in the right place, they are capable of anything.It's a truly chilling scene. But perhaps the character is right. Perhaps everyone is capable of anything. Aristotle said, "Every action of every man is aimed at some good." The problem, of course, is that what seems "good" to Timothy McVeigh might not seem so good to you or me.
It's hard to find a hero these days. Last year, I had my students write about a column in Sports Illustrated by Steve Rushin. He pointed out that as a sports writer he hated that Lance Armstrong had cheated. And he despised the fact that Armstrong had deliberately tried to destroy people who came forward with the truth. But Rushin's brother had survived cancer, and his brother credited Armstrong and the Livestrong Foundation for his recovery. As do thousands of others. So, Rushin asked, Is Armstrong good or evil? Is he the average of his actions? Rushin basically said, no, he's both. He's good and he's evil. Like most people, I suspect. Some of us aren't quite so public, though.
In The Grapes of Wrath, the ex-preacher, Jim Casy says,
There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing. And some of the things folks do is nice, and some ain't nice, but that's as far as any man got a right to say.I'm not sure I can completely agree with Casy, but I think he's getting at the notion of judging the act and not the actor. Again, I don't think the act is separate from the actor or that the actor is not responsible in most cases. But I think the totality of a human being is difficult to determine.
As a society, we decide what is acceptable and unacceptable. We do it in formal ways by making laws and in informal ways by shunning or accepting certain behaviors. But society is far from unanimous in determining what we make illegal and what we shun or accept. And those "norms" change over time. So even when it comes to determining what actions are "evil," each of us must play God. For me, I believe that morality must be reasonable and compassionate. But that definition raises more questions. What's reasonable? What's compassionate?
One part of Jesus' teachings that I always admired was Matthew 7:1: "Judge not, that ye be not judged." So I try not to judge other people, but I will judge their actions. I won't say, "Dick Cheney is evil." But I will say, "Dick Cheney is a war criminal."
What do you say?
Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the New Day sunrise cloud
Let's build communities!
Every region needs a meatspace community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY
NEW GROUPS IN THE PROCESS OF ORGANIZING:These are the groups that have started since * NEW DAY * began. Please Kosmail navajo if you have started a group before that.
Send a Kosmail to the organizers and ask for an invitation to the group.• Northern Indiana Area: Kosmail Tim Delaney
• Long Island: Kosmail grannycarol
• Northern Michigan: Kosmail JillS
• Nebraska: Kosmail Nebraska68847Dem
• Westburbia Chicago Kossacks: Kosmail Majordomo
• New York Hudson Valley Kossacks: Kosmail boran2
• North Carolina Triangle Kossacks: Kosmail highacidity
• Caprock Kossacks (Panhandle/Caprock/Lubbock/Amarillo area) : Kosmail shesaid
• West Texas Kossacks (including Big Bend Region and El Paso) : Kosmail Yo BubbaNote to the above new leaders: Feel free to leave a comment any day reminding readers about your new group. Also, tell us about your progress in gathering members. Kosmail me when you've chosen a good name for your group and have created a the group. Then I'll move you to the NEW GROUPS LIST. When you've planned a date for your first event I'll make a banner for you to highlight your event in our diaries and your diaries.
NEW GROUPS LIST:
• Kansas City Kossacks - Formed Oct 15, 2012, Organizer: [Founder stepped down]
ESTABLISHED GROUPS LIST: (List will grow as we discover them)
Sunday, July 7th
Chicago Kossacks Go to a Ballgame!
TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Fifth Third Bank Ball Park
34W002 Cherry Lane • Geneva
ORGANIZER: Send NormAl1792 a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Chicago(land) Kossacks Meet-Up July 7: Take Me Out to the Ball Game
4. Mr. broths
5-10. edwardssl & her family
12. Mr. luvs
13. never forget
New York Hudson Valley Kossacks
NY Hudson Valley Kossacks' First Meet-up
LOCATION: Hudson House
2 Main Street • Cold Spring, NY
ORGANIZER: Send boran2 a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: [Coming soon!]
Thursday, July 18th
Phoenix Kossacks Meet-up for navajo
TIME: 6:15 PM Reservation name is Daily Kos
LOCATION: Rancho de Tia Rosa
3129 E. McKellips • Mesa
ORGANIZER: Send arizonablue a kosmail to attend.
navajo's in town one day, even though it's a Thursday we hope you can make it.
Latest diary: Phoenix Kossacks Meetup: Welcome Navajo to The Valley of the Sun!
2. Mr. arizonablue
5. Mrs. Azazello
7. Mrs. ninothemindboggler
9. mrs. thomask
11. Late Again
12. Mother Mags
13. Kane in CA
Kane in CA
Kane in CA friend
Mr. Late Again
dewey in the desert
Saturday, July 20th
Motor City Kossacks Consider Meeting-up in Hell to welcome tgypsy
15 miles northwest of Ann Arbor • Hell
ORGANIZER: Send peregrine kate a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Motor City Kossacks: Meet-up Sat. 7/20, 12-3 PM. Could it be in Hell?
1. peregrine kate
Saturday, July 20th
Southern California Inland Empire
TIME: 11:00 AM (Tour museum then lunch there)
LOCATION: Palm Springs Air Museum
745 North Gene Autry Trail • Palm Springs
ORGANIZER: Send SoCaliana a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: SCIEK: Summer Meetup Location
Susan from 29
Saturday, July 20th
SFKossacks Welcome angelajean & Family to Elkhorn Slough, there will be otters!
ORGANIZER: Send lineatus a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
Saturday, July 20th
Dkos Asheville, North Carolina Kossacks Meet-up
TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: The Bywater
796 Riverside Dr. • Asheville
ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: DKos Asheville Open Thread 5/18/13: Frogs and tomatoes and snakes, oh my!
7. Captain Sham
10. Phil S 33
12. Christian Dem in NC
Sunday, July, 21st
Northern Arizona Kossacks Meet-up with navajo
TIME: TBD, early evening
[Address] • Sedona
ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.
2. Sam Sara
Sunday, August 4th
NYC Kossacks Meet-up
LOCATION: Spitzer's Corner
101 Rivington Street (Ludlow) • NYC
ORGANIZER: Send Sidnora a kosmail to RSVP.
Latest diary: New York City Meetup - August - Choose your date
3. belinda ridgewood
6. Its the Supreme Court Stupid
7. blue jersey mom
13. No Exit
SFKossacks BBQ in the Wine Country
LOCATION: Andrew McGuire's home in the Wine Country
Address to be given privately to RSVPs • Windsor
1. Andrew McGuire
6. Hunter/elfling offspring
14. Mr. dksbook
Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.
Okay. Floor's open.
Tell us what you are doing on this NEW DAY?