It is a funny old world. We walk around in a haze of assumptions and build up layer upon layers of accepted truths which can leave us amazed by the unexpected things we hear on any given day, which leave our beliefs challenged:
The Dalai Lama, a lifelong champion of non-violence candidly stated that terrorism cannot be tackled by applying the principle of ahimsa because the minds of terrorists are closed. “It is difficult to deal with terrorism through non-violence,” the Tibetan spiritual leader said delivering the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture here. He termed terrorism as the worst kind of violence which is not carried by a few mad people but by those who are very brilliant and educated.
[h/t M. CT.] Never thought I’d see that sort of thing but it makes sense and, while TDL says he hearts GWB in the balance of the article, he is really stressing that the problem is one of education. Compare this to the surprise I have this morning reading this headline “Liberal-NDP coalition would protect war resisters from deportation: MPs” I am not surprised about the idea of non-deportation. I am surprised that someone actually still believes there is a Liberal-NDP coalition. Apparently someone was sitting near the back when Iggy was talking and missed the message.
Ah, the beliefs of the doofus. The belief of the doofus is a particularly powerful thing. Consider the need to re-do the oath of office for President Obama. Why re-do even though it was pretty clear that the Chief Justice botched the job the first time? Flakes! Flacks and yahoos and nutbars and dingbats, that is why:
It’s a question being asked by constitutional experts – not to mention Fox News pundits and bloggers – after the man generally considered the finest orator of his generation fluffed his lines while reciting the oath of office on Capitol Hill yesterday. Actually, the blame may well lie with John Roberts, the Chief Justice, whose job it was to guide Mr Obama through the 35-word oath prescribed by the constitution and decided to do it from memory in front of a live crowd of around 2 million people and a further billion or so following via television.
Bloggers! Never mind that constitutional experts had a question but to face the concern of bloggers, well, surely that is too much for the constitution of the most powerful nation on the face of the nation to bear. Never mind that the hand on or off Bible thing is not settled. Never mind that Andrew Johnson, whose “normal oratorical style when speaking extemporaneously tended toward the wild and uncontrolled” was stumblin’ drunk when he took the oath as VP in 1865. Never mind that Chester Arthur and Calvin Coolidge each also had to do a redo, too. Never mind that other past flubs did not lead to a re-do. Bloggers are restless. Take the oath again.
Interestingly, however, as the oath is in the constitution itself, it has been subject to actual official review based on its actual words:
“Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
See, it is the execution of the office that the oath is about. He is elected and he is made President, according to the constitution, by the stroke of the clock at noon. But expect a bazillion dopey bloggers and Rush Limbaugh, too, to get it wrong for the next four to eight years. Belief systems are powerful things.