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Off topic: Today we mourn the passing of an old friend by the name of “Common Sense”
Thread poster: xxxxeni
xxxxeni
English to Russian
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Aug 11, 2003

Today we mourn the passing of an old friend by the name of “Common Sense”.


Common Sense lived a long life, but died recently in the United States.
No one really knows how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, factories helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness. He generally cultivated such valued lessons as to know when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, and that life isn't always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the kids), and it's okay to come in second. A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, Common Sense survived cultural and educational trends including body piercing, whole language, and "new math." His health declined when he became infected with the "If-it-only-helps-one-person-it's-worth-it" virus.

In recent decades, his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of well intentioned but overbearing regulations. He watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking lawyers. His health rapidly deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero-tolerance policies. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition.

It declined even further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student but could not inform the parent when a female student was pregnant or wanted an abortion.
Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, criminals received better treatment than victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything from the Boy Scouts to professional sports.

Finally, when people too stupid to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot enough to cause burns, sued the restaurant and were awarded a huge settlement, Common Sense threw in the towel.
As the end neared, Common Sense drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding questionable regulations such as those for low flow toilets, rocking chairs, and stepladders.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers: My Rights, and Ima Whiner. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.


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Martine Etienne  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 00:54
Member (2003)
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This is wonderfull Aug 11, 2003

All that is true...and I have nothing else to say.

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maq
Local time: 00:54
English to Swedish
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Nice piece of writing Aug 11, 2003

But on my list of indications that Common Sense is gone, quite different items would figure. Somehow Common Sense is not so common. And the times they are a-changing...
Cheers
Marcel

P.S. Perhaps I should express myself more clearly: I don´t believe in the notion that yesterday´s world was so much saner. And if interventions against sexual harassments sometimes get into absurdities, that doesn´t mean that these issues were generally handled in a much better way before.
[Edited at 2003-08-12 09:56]

[Edited at 2003-08-12 10:01]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:54
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Russian to English
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Too true, and not only in the USA Aug 11, 2003

In the UK, a farmer named Tony Martin has just been released from four years in prison. He had been burgled, attacked and insulted over a period of 14 years and the police would never do anything about it. He eventually chased two burglars away with a shotgun, firing it (whether intentionally aiming at them or not is a matter of dispute). One of them, a teenager, died. He was originally found guilty of murder but this was reduced to manslaughter on the judge's direction.
The second burglar was injured in the leg. He is now intending to sue Tony Martin for his injury including for loss of earnings (from burglary?) and the Government is providing him with legal aid to do so.


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Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
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thanks Ksenia! Aug 11, 2003

for the reminder!

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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 01:54
Member (2003)
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Re:Too true, and not only in the USA Aug 11, 2003

Yeah, I remembered a story about Presbyterian Minister, who from his bedroom hears a noise in the hall, comes out with a shotgun, and politely addresses one of the robbers: “Excuse me for disturbing you and I beg your pardon, Sir, but you are standing right where I’m going to shoot…”

Jack Doughty wrote:

In the UK, a farmer named Tony Martin has just been released from four years in prison. He had been burgled, attacked and insulted over a period of 14 years and the police would never do anything about it. He eventually chased two burglars away with a shotgun, firing it (whether intentionally aiming at them or not is a matter of dispute). One of them, a teenager, died. He was originally found guilty of murder but this was reduced to manslaughter on the judge's direction.
The second burglar was injured in the leg. He is now intending to sue Tony Martin for his injury including for loss of earnings (from burglary?) and the Government is providing him with legal aid to do so.


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Borana Moisiu
Albania
Local time: 00:54
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This is funny Aug 11, 2003

and true, not only in USA, but also in my country, Albania.
Borana


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Pablo Cañamares  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 01:54
Russian to Spanish
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We'll miss him... Aug 11, 2003

Yeah, he was one of those individuals who always kept a low profile, but now he is gone, sure his absence will make the difference...

Borana, by the way: I keep a little notebook where I note down all strange, funny or right down outrageous quotes I come across... that presbyterian father just earned the honor of being my latest entry!


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:54
English to Chinese
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In lieu of flowers, send donations to: Aug 12, 2003

???

Someone give me a line!


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Robin Salmon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 08:54
German to English
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I agree Aug 12, 2003

Common sense is not very common.

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Lucinda  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:54
Member (2002)
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Thank you Aug 12, 2003

for a wonderful and very timely piece. I spoke to a teacher once who told me that she was reprimanded by the principal because she had given a very unruly and abusive 7-year old student time-out.

And we are surprised that we got Columbine and other atrocities.

You are so right, Common Sense is dead and long gone.

Sincerely,
Lucinda.


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Oleg Sollogub  Identity Verified
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Wide-scale experiment Aug 12, 2003

It looks like they in the US have staged a nation-wide experiment, aimed to see if a human society can be organized like a computer, ruled by a set of instructions (=program), which are supposed to be executed literally (just like computers do) without humans having to think what they do or what the sense of all this is. Since Common Sence is hard to program into a machine, it has no place in such a society. People trying to utilize their common sence will inevitably suffer from the lack of it in the system, while others, acting as controllers or processors, executing the program (=lawyers), will find this system quite beneficial to them.

This reminds me of another such wide scale experiment staged in the Soviet Union, a communism. While in US they deprive people of common sence and natural human motives in the name of Law and Equality, in USSR they deprived people of their private property and freedom in the name of the Happy Future. The bottom line is the same, it is an attemt to make people happy by following a nice idea and forgetting about human nature.

Any great idea becomes absurd soon along this way, as it makes a lot more people suffer than it makes happy, but... It takes a long time until this is realized, for the idea per se is bright and nice and attractive, and there are still many people (whether you call them communists or lawyers) who feel happy along the way.

But some day they will realize that the system is too tough on them too. And I hope one day the human nature will prevail over anti-human mechanistic logic of serving the Great Idea, and His Majesty Common Sense will return to us.

Until then, we must exersise it sometimes, lest we forget it entirely...


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xxxxeni
English to Russian
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TOPIC STARTER
Naaah... Not really... There IS a difference. Aug 12, 2003

osol wrote:
It looks like they in the US have staged a nation-wide experiment, aimed to see if a human society can be organized like a computer, ruled by a set of instructions (=program), which are supposed to be executed literally (just like computers do) without humans having to think what they do or what the sense of all this is. Since Common Sence is hard to program into a machine, it has no place in such a society. People trying to utilize their common sence will inevitably suffer from the lack of it in the system, while others, acting as controllers or processors, executing the program (=lawyers), will find this system quite beneficial to them.

This reminds me of another such wide scale experiment staged in the Soviet Union, a communism. While in US they deprive people of common sence and natural human motives in the name of Law and Equality, in USSR they deprived people of their private property and freedom in the name of the Happy Future. The bottom line is the same, it is an attemt to make people happy by following a nice idea and forgetting about human nature.


Dear Osol, you are taking it way too seriously. Let me remind you of Winston Churchill words:

"Democracy is the worst form of government, with the exception of all others."

And you know what? He was right.

[Edited at 2003-08-12 17:45]


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xxxLinguaText
English to Chinese
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Common sense to remember Aug 12, 2003

Paine to share! He will be there to stay watch and listen in earnest: )

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Atenea Acevedo  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:54
English to Spanish
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Pleeeease... Aug 13, 2003

...this could just heat the whole thing up, BUT, come on, like there's any country where democracy actually exists! And Dear Churchill was no innocent bird either, anyway. Remember the ending of WWII, Yalta and so on. Will stop right HERE. Sorry, had to get it out of my chest.

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