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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
           Friday, May 2 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterMajority rules

There are lots of ramifications involved in the role members of the "alliance of the willing" have to play in the next stage for the quest for freedom for the Iraqi people. Many scenarios yet to be played out there are fraught with danger and subject to treachery. But I choose today to look at the glass as half full. I'm seeing a positive—a bonus, if you will—in all of this for all of us: an opportunity to see how a democratic society comes into being. When we say "democratic," we may tend to think, "majority rules." Case closed; next case.

But it's never that easy. If you've given a minute's thought to what's ahead for Iraq, you've already shaken your head at the prospect of the majority, the loud and imposing shi'ite largest faction in multicultural Iraq, being given anything like a lion's share of political power there. Okay, you say, if "majority rules" "pure democracy" isn't acceptable, what would be? What our own nation's founding fathers proposed is what we Americans call "checks and balances." We've all been conditioned to think of the first 10 amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the "Bill of Rights," as the fount of our freedoms. But in reality, they are curbs on the will of various majorities in our national life being imposed on the less powerful minorities, even on minorities of one.

With this kind of understanding of democracy, the relatively miniscule minority of Christians in Iraq have been appealing to the world's "court of public opinion" to assure that they will have such basic rights as continuing to keep churches open, to reopen Christian schools that Saddam Hussein had nationalized, and participate freely in the nation's government and its political processes.

It's far too early to predict how long it will take to persuade a concensus of Iraqis to adopt a government based on such principles. And although pressing for such guarantees is imperative if coalition forces are able to declare their mission accomplished, it's even harder to predict that it will become stable and continue to hold power in the heart of the Islamic Middle East.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

 Things my mother taught me (fourth in series)

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home."
17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING. "You are going to get it when you get home!"
18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, They are going to freeze that way."
19. My mother taught me ESP. "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"
20. My mother taught me HUMOR. "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

— Sent by George Dilling

Thought for today

Against the popular belief of his time that "unhappiness" produced strength of character:

There is only one kind of unhappiness that is really fruitful, and that is the kind that springs from good things imagined but not realized. This form of unhappiness is inseparable from the creative impulse, but the creative impulse itself is only hampered and weakened by personal troubles. Such at least is my belief. The belief may be mistaken, but it cannot be proved to be so, and there is therefore no reason to curb our kindlier impulses.

— Bertrand Russell, writing in 1932

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