To criticize without thinking is to shoot without aiming.
By Stewart Richland
In a recent article that I wrote for the UCO reporter, I used an idiomatic expression, “Bury your head in the sand.” If you understand the language you get the message. Sometimes it is difficult for some people to understand this form of figurative expression.
It is always rewarding when someone takes the time out of his busy day to respond to your article.**(See the comment section for this comment) Unfortunately the response was posted on “Dave’s Blog.” I attempted, without luck to respond to the post. Knowing that the writer of the rebuttal reads this blog, I will post my response to the authors “willful blindness” to the meaning of my article.
The English language is rich and colorful. It is the tool that we use to formulate our thoughts and then communicate our views to others. Within this context we often use idiomatic expressions that truly enrich and enhance our language. For example, we often hear politicians use the phrase, “kicking the can down the road.” What the politician is telling us is that they are not going take action on an issue but, will deal with it at some time in the future. This is what is known as an idiomatic expression.
Other examples of this form of expression are: “Bucket List,” a term that was made popular by a movie of the same name. Make a list of all the things you want to do before you die. Describing a person that has a “heart of gold.” or defining a persons views as being as “clear as mud” are other examples. One of the most famous is, “The Shot Heard Around the World.” Have you ever dealt with someone that has the “patience of a saint,” or accused a person of being a “bird brain.” Another favorite of mine is “Well I’ll be a Monkey’s Uncle.”
I did not expect any reader of the column to interpret my remarks literally. I intended it to be understood in its figurative sense. What I was addressing was the idea that people often “bury their heads in the sand” when they refuse to confront or deal with a problem, and thus deny the problem ever existed. In my article I referenced the possibility that if a stakeholder cannot see that there is a problem, then there is no problem. This is what is known as “burying you head in the sand.” Like the proverb of the three monkeys, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” I called this type of thinking “stupid” and was chastised by the writer on Dave’s blog as denigrating to our village residents. However, from my perspective we do have some serious issues here in our village and as a resident I am very concerned. In my article I addressed the issue of a majority vote being used to approve or disapprove a proposition to be addressed by the Delegates. Even an elementary school student knows that a majority is one more than 50%.
Thus any proposal that garners the majority will be approved. It is also assumed that those voting on an issue are well versed and their vote represents the will of their constituents. Perhaps, this a stretch in logic, when I use the Federal Government as a case in point.
However, in Century Village this practical approach on voting lacks a certain degree of logical thinking. I addressed my concern in one of the bullet points in my article. I have attended enough Delegate Assembly meetings, to know that most delegates are “low informational” voters. This does not mean that they lack intelligence or as the responder from the other “Blog” suggested that I called them “stupid.” What I was alluding to was that many delegates have tunnel vision, when it comes to comprehending the implications of what they are asked to vote on. As a result, I suggested that on critical issues, a simple majority vote should not be used. There are about 345 registered delegates in Century Village. During seasonal meetings according to our by-laws a quorum is 141 delegates and in the off-season a quorum is 117. When a vote is called for, you need 2/3rds of the delegates attending to vote for or against a motion. 2/3rds translates to 66 2/3rds%. of those present.
All I am asking for is a system that is more inclusive than already exists.
Finally, the commentator on the other blog, choose to select the name Hitler, again “cherry picking” for effect, suggesting that the rest of my essay was about one of the most hated humans of recorded history. This is typical of what you can expect from the members of the “other blog.” As Voltaire once remarked, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” This may be a bit extreme in this case, but in world where rules are an important part of human discourse, why not allow a rebuttal to your rebuttal.
Charlie Chan (Charlie Chan at the Race Track) remarked it is “Easy to criticize, more difficult to be correct.” This is the real reason why access to David Israel’s blog is restricted to only those who support his positions.
Again a Charlie Chan truism, Mind, like parachute, only function when open.
So Don, if you re-read my 600 word essay, you will learn that there were two parties to the Munich Agreement. Hitler’s name was used once. You chose to “Cherry Pick” this name and suggest that this person was the main subject of my commentary. Neville Chamberlain and Adolph Hitler. To repeat, this agreement, historically referred to as appeasement, had two signatures’. You chose the name that carries the most baggage. We all know why you did this. Just as many of the T.V. news station do. They selectively edit interviews in order to change the story line. Well the story line here is not the two government leaders, it was the fact that Prime Minister Chamberlain refused to confront the fact that you cannot negotiate with dictators. In other words, he refused to confront the real problem and chose to deny it. As the idiomatic expression goes, “he buried his head in the sand.” The result, World War II. I call your attention to the cartoon below. Don, which one of the images is you? Or is it….. just another idiomatic representation of something else? I rather think that Mr. Chan sums it up best when he says