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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Lessons on Progress

With the campaigns for city council barely underway and heading towards an indeterminate date, there are already calls for the candidates to continue with the island’s “progress”.

Those that are seeking more of the same must view where we are today as a marked improvement over where we were from the time of the last election. Or since when the present governance took control. Or perhaps since the Mackle brothers first set foot on Marco Island.

While some call for the candidates to continue with the “progress”, quite a number of citizens have noted a lack of progress or progress in the wrong direction, and have voiced their utter dissatisfaction with many aspects of the present governance’s deeds.

Clearly, there are two diametrically different points of view of where we are as a city today. Why this dichotomy of viewpoints on Marco Island?

In science and as in business, programs or endeavors without metrics, benchmarks or milestones can not be measured objectively. In such cases any evaluative associative description is subjective and therefore argumentative. This is especially so when goals are amorphous and accomplishments serve dramatically diverse or questionable purposes. Namely, one person’s triumph is another person’s abject failure.

And that is case with governments in general, and with the present governance on Marco Island in particular.

The city has undertaken myriad programs without the means to evaluate their success (or failure), while it has undertaken some programs with the ability to objectively gauge the outcome. The STRP is a prime example of the former, while the purchase of the utterly useless “blue man” is a prime example of the latter (note: if the purpose of something is to have no use, then when it serves no use, its purpose is served and must be objectively judged as being a success). Some believe that the STRP is progress, while others think quite the opposite. Some believe that the "blue man" is an utter waste of taxpayers' money, while others believe that funding the arts is a social obligation.

Hence some argue that Marco Island has made “progress” and is better off today than some time in the past, while others argue that we are much worse off. Fair enough - the diverse opinions and points of view are understandable. And should be encouraged.

What is not understandable is how anyone who values or appreciates the basic foundations of democracy and human decency can claim any progress irrespective of the inability to make a value judgment. For us on Marco, to read some making calls for more “progress” given the present governance’s unquestionably abysmal track record for obeying laws or for disrespecting the citizenry is undeniably utterly repulsive.

To suggest more of the same via praise is tantamount to affording accolades to Mussolini because he made the trains run on time. Or it’s like claiming that Hitler made “progress” because he turned a ruined nation into a highly efficient world power. Or better yet and more in tune with today’s times – its like praising Castro because his modality for social engineering brought about one of the highest literacy rates in the world through a grade school educational system light years ahead of ours (at an infinitesimal fraction of the cost too!).

No one of conscience or with a rudimentary education can issue praise and call for more of the same “progress” when the institutionalized policy by those who promulgated the “progress” harms people, violates laws or imbues denigration on the citizenry. One would think that anyone with scruples, or anyone smarter than a fifth grader would dismiss any arguable “progress” when such “progress” is not only founded on opinions, but derived at the hands of a governance that commits illegal, illicit and immoral acts.

What is even more unclear is why the people who espouse such prostituted views are even acknowledged. Acknowledging such individuals and engaging them in any way is ludicrous an insensible. As if we needed yet another analogy, reading or responding to such stupidity is like engaging those who put the Holocaust in perspective because of the “progress” made in the interim.

Understand that there is dissipation in engaging these individuals who by calling for more of the same “progress” show how they sold their souls to politics and money and hatred – a lesson learned long ago by the interminable list of victims left by the “progress” of the governments mentioned above.

Those of you who even read the inanity from the present governance’s propagandists would be better off learning the same lesson.


  • Another excellent essay. It is sad that the local papers pay and give prime placement to the idiotic ramblings written by Don Farmer when thoughts such as these go unrecognized. It is too bad the papers feel they have to relate to IQ's in the double digits. I know the citizens of Marco Island are much more intelligent then our papers recognize.

    Roger Hall

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, July 08, 2007 11:03:00 AM  

  • Every citizen - irrespective of where they stand on any issue - should be outraged at Farmer's remarks. Demeaning everyone and anyone to serve nothing more than being a political hack for the city is indicative of how the free press is no longer free or a press. Reading this nonsense is like reading the Holocaust deniers. That is why many don't read this person's noise and best left ignored and let him and those that support him perish in the trash bin of non-history - a fate we can all accelerate by simply ignoring the Village Idiot.

    By Blogger Mario R. Sanchez, Ph.D., at Monday, July 09, 2007 9:03:00 AM  

  • I wish all our citizens had access to informed writings as this. Unfortunately, many don't have computers and thus don't have all the info they need to make informed decisions. Also it's disappointing to note that one of our local newspapers hasn't published any opinion letters from the people since June 21. I can't believe our citizens have suddenly become struck dumb.

    By Anonymous Karen Glaub, at Monday, July 09, 2007 8:15:00 PM  

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