Van Jones Launches Green For All
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Wagering Our Own Skins To Heal Values-Based Clients Corrupted by Sin

Say a conversational gambit or textual strategy is a "wager," to use AKMA's term, rather than a contract.  If the parties to the conversation are united in a common purpose, members of a congregation or tribe, or well-socialized group in halcyon days, and they are playing a ritualized game called, "sermon," or "baptism," or "chatting with Pastor over tea," the wager is a good bet. The congregation will be instructed, the child will be baptized, the Pastor and visitor will trade pleasantries.  The Pastor will be well regarded, and no harm will be done.  But say, the Pastor holds views in consonance with Christian Doctrine and anathema to the powers that be who blaspheme, taking Christ's name in vain to do evil on a local, national, or global stage.  Say, the Pastor can either keep his mouth shut, or force uncomfortable issues online, from the pulpit, or in the public square. Now, we have a wager for higher stakes. Perhaps the Pastor might present himself as healing the sick, or sowing seed, or something about a bushel basket, or a field of wheat. Parables are a way he could sow good seed without paying the forfeit.

In the stories told of Alexander the Great by Plutarch, there are several counselors and several healers.  Each story has its own ending. Some healers refuse to get involved knowing if they try to heal Alexander or his close friends and fail, they may be persecuted or executed. Others bravely step in and offer nostrums that are much needed, fail, and are speared, or crucified.  Others do provide a cure and are rewarded. Yes, healing arts are a wager, AKMA.  I think maybe Jesus was such a healer, the best of them all, who gave the best advice, and tricked Pilate into crucifying him that he might save us and set a good example for all who follow him.

AKMA instances Swift. Yes, he too was a healer, through sermon and satire both. We cannot heal those who need it most by sowing fine words from the pulpit. That is for naught, mostly. We would be preaching to the confirmed, and even the confirmed don't listen. To heal those who are sickest, with the sickness unto death of evil, and who infect the body politic, corrupting it, so it "rots," as the Italians say, "like a fish from the head down," we cannot deal only in sermons. We must enter, as Jesus, did into the Pharisee's Temple, or the Market, or public square, or the official buildings, even unto the very Think Tanks themselves, and into the seedy motels from which they are funded, and offer our healing arts to those we find there, whether we go with fine words or a whip.  How we get the job done, and live to tell about it, is up to us. The wager part is that the other party wins only if he loses. And we lose only if we win.  We find ourselves by losing ourselves. We find ourselves in brokenness and surrender. 

Actually, the "healer" who does the most for Alexander turned out to be Diogenes, the mad Socrates. 

As for values-based advisors to wealth, my commonsense suggestion is that we pattern ourselves not on Pastors, Healers, Socratic Philosophers, Satirists, Trickster Heroes, or Charismatic Martyrs, but on Pharisees, Parasites, Courtiers, and Flatterers. Give the rich whatever they want. Serve,  Ye Philistines! whatever values your client may have. That is a wager a wise advisor would take.  A World Class Fool is another matter, but we are a dying breed.

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