Intelligent Common Sense vs. Knee-jerk Common Sense

I agree.

The question is what brand of common sense we choose to adopt.  One trait we humans all share is the unquestionable fact that we have common sense.  We’re able to spot the lack of it in others whenever it’s out of sync with our own, which frequently happens.

Among other things, it seems to me common sense ought to be manifested in personal and public choices about what’s worth getting excited about, being afraid of, and what is not.

For instance, I read somewhere recently that in the entire history of terrorism, beginning in Russia in the 19th Century, fewer than 10,000 people have died.

Common sense would seem to argue terrorism’s not a large enough issue in the world to lend much weight to private and public decision-making.

The war on drugs has been waged since the Reagan Administration.  Countless millions of dollars have been expended in the effort.  Today, forbidden drugs are as available on the streets of America, perhaps more available, than they were when Reagan declared war.

Common sense would seem to argue it was time to look at other alternatives about five years after it all began, rather than spending more on it, building more prisons, hiring more cops, judges, prosecutors.

We’ve known since the early 1970s that foreign energy dependence was a threat to the well-being of this nation.  Petroleum and other hydrocarbons were going away.  From Nixon onward, US presidents pledged and waved the bloody flag pretending an effort to free the US from foreign energy dependence by development of alternative energy sources.

Common sense would seem to argue we’re more dependent on foreign energy today, 40 years later, than we were when our elected chiefs first made public acknowledgement of the threat to national security and well-being.  Which is another way of saying they lied, made meaningless gestures to an actual threat to national security and well-being, while devoting their attention to waging bloody wars on top of soil where the old-fashioned energy sources lay hidden.

Whatever common sense is, you and I certainly have a lot of it.

If we could ever discover how to inject it into the gray matter of the men we elect to office, we’d have to change the definition to something less common.  Which is the reason I stay the hell away from knowing the current news events and don’t pay any mind to politics.

Common sense tells me history testifies to the futility of common sense and the futility of worrying about political matters.   Common sense tells me life’s too short to fire up my ammunition at targets I can’t hit.

Old Jules

John Prine– Illegal Smile

18 responses to “Intelligent Common Sense vs. Knee-jerk Common Sense

  1. A totally common sense approach which I have, unfortunately, yet put in to effect.

    • Morning Cletis. Thanks for the visit and the comment. I, unfortunately, haven’t totally succeeded at it, my ownself. It’s a tough job of work.

      Vested interests and political propaganda machines have taken ownership of the phrase, studied the buttons that need pushing to keep a sharp edge on whatever their favorite common sense definition of the moment requires to keep the public hearts beating faster, public tears flowing, public banners waving, public rhetorical parades marching to the chosen drums of the moment.

      Backing away from all that is akin to trying to get gum off the sole of your shoe. It keeps sticking. Gracias, J

  2. I try so hard to stay away from politics. It’s such a waste of my time, energy and emotions. When I do dive in, I am always left feeling unbalanced and icky. The common sense thing reminds me of George Carlin’s comments on drivers, “Ever notice how anyone driving slower than you is an idiot and anyone driving faster than you is a maniac?”

    • Morning Teresa Evangeline: Thanks for coming by. Yeah, it’s worth staying away from if we can figure out how to stay away from it. But figuring out what it is ain’t all that easy. Defining the boundaries of what’s politics and what isn’t politics is a fence with a lot of holes in it, a lot of posts leaning over to allow traffic both ways. For instance, I found myself wondering after I read through your remarks the second time whether my SS retirement check is politics, economics, or just something akin to rain so’s it can be talked about if it doesn’t arrive.

      Good analogy, the Carlin comments.

      Gracias, J

  3. I am happy to say I have broken the TV news, political speech, campaign and opinion habit and now I’m working on the radio. For years it has been several hours a day of mind damaging radio listening but even that is coming to an end. After a while you realize that it is all on an endless loop. It took five minutes for some reporter to cause me to bleed from my ears this morning but when I immediately hit the off switch the bleeding stop. Unfortunately not knowing what is currently being spewed on over the airwaves limits ones understanding of the remarks and jokes on “the Daily Show”. After missing the point for the third time last night I turned it off and went to bed.
    Even some of the blogs I read are becoming less meaningful. When I rolled over and switched on the radio this morning I was notified that the “Pres” gave a speech last night. When the thirty something announcer started to explain what the “Pres” said and what it meant I turned it off. What the pink men in suits and ties thought of it means nothing to me. I just don’t trust anyone in a suit and any man willing to wear a tie is is just too much of a whore for me.
    I have found in my short life that the difference between knowing what is happening and what is not happening in politics is negligible.

    • Morning Old Fool: Good seeing you here. I agree. I don’t have a TV, got a shortwave radio but the batteries have been dead so long it probably has them leaking inside. But I have a little crankup-to-charge one might still work if I cranked it up. Which doesn’t provide immunity, not even insulation if a person reads blogs. But it does give a bit more distance, thinks I.

      I appreciate you coming by and your remarks. I always enjoy reading your blog unless you’re complaining about how much rain you got. Gracias, J

    • Love that last sentence! But there is a difference – not knowing what goes on in politics prevents 99% of bleeding out of your ears.

      Just found this site a week ago. It’s on my daily read list now.

      • John Gall: Thanks for stopping in and the reads, the response. I expect you’re right. Or at least that it prevents bleeding out the ears about politics mostly. Gracias, J

  4. Even if you could drill common sense in to the heads of politicians it would make very little difference because America is so divided that it can never come back together again. (Or not likely so) Americans are spoiled rotten being able to drive their big SUV gas hogs that they don’t care how much gas cost they aren’t likely to give up being able to do that. They don’t care that they are screwing people who can’t afford the gas to drive a shoe box, buy food, afford medical help and so on. War on drugs has always been a joke just like prohibition was back in the day and it needs to go the same way that did. Legalize drugs because they are going to be here anyway and that would break the drug cartels strangle hold and give the government another way to make big $ by taxation instead of squandering money trying to stop it.

    • Hi tffnguy: Thanks for coming by. I shore do enjoy your blog and all those projects you have going. Thanks for sharing them, but also thanks for stopping in and saying hi this morning. Yeah, I dunno nuthun about nuthun, mostly, about all this other stuff. Gracias, J

  5. Sorry I’ve not come to your blog in awhile, for every time I do, as this post especially demonstrated, I find myself nodding yes, yes, yes, yes, HELL YES!

    Topped off with one of my favorite Prine songs. Thanks for articulating while so many of us just spin our wheels in frustration.

  6. Anonymous: Thanks for coming by, reading and commenting. I appreciate you. J

    • Why, oh WHY do my comments keep appearing as anonymous? I’m confused! Going to try something different this time when I comment and we’ll see.

      Simply love your blog, Jules. I share your posts occasionally on Facebook and tell friends about you. Today it was my 76 year old friend who is a published author. She’s got your blog bookmarked now.

  7. great subject matter…and so very true…!!

  8. Anonymous = belasbrightideas. Sheesh – maybe this time it will go through? Not sure what’s happening. It just says “Authorizing” forever but never seems to actually do this. Have tried to “Like” various posts of yours with the same result 😦

    Anyhow, sure do enjoy your posts.

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