Republicans Frightened by the Bell

Most of us have heard some version of the tale. It has been around for a long, long time. Vermont scholar Marjorie Dundas is retired from teaching, but she has made a sort of second career in collecting variations of the same legend.

Thumbing through the anthology, I am struck by the diversity of nationality and ethnicity. The ancient wisdom of a judge in India, of a magistrate in mainland China, a county governor in Taiwan. Could the same ancient story come from so many places? I admit to a suspicion that the single origin of all those versions may be the creative imagination of some forgotten writer.

The story I heard as a kid was about the ancient Chinese magistrate. A priceless item has been stolen. A host of suspects appear before the magistrate. Each swears to innocence. There seems no way to find the actual thief. So the magistrate resorts to the supernatural.
Continue reading “Republicans Frightened by the Bell”

Collectivism Generates Irrational Hatred

found online by Raymond

From libertarian Michael A. LaFerrara at Principled Perspectives:

I define collectivism as the idea that the primary focus of moral concern is the group. This leads to the kind of dehumanizing generalization discussed in the article. I define individualism as the idea that the primary focus of moral concern is the individual. This leads people to evaluate others according to individual character rather some racial, economic, or other group association. (It is important to note that collectivism does not mean teamwork and cooperation, and individualism does not mean lone wolfism.) We need to understand explicitly that collectivism leads to sweeping generalizations like “girls can be mean” or “boys will be boys,” and that individualism leads to the mindset that no individual represents every person in a demographic.

Unfortunately, collectivism is being promoted in the name of inclusion. The diversity campaigns promote the idea that racial or cultural heritage matters in judging people.

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The ‘Vietnam’ Series: Heartbreaking, Elucidating, and Lessons Not Learned

found online by Raymond

From Shaun Mullen at The Moderate Voice:

The war at home — the marches, moratoriums, escalating civil disobedience and violence, Kent State and Jackson State, the few brave voices of opposition in Washington — is adeptly woven into the larger narrative, and the inescapable conclusion is that the war ended not because the politicians wised up, but because Americans people did.

In the end, there was unanimity on all sides that the war was a tragedy for which American politicians — notably the well meaning, conflicted and overwhelmed LBJ and the malevolent and traitorous Nixon — must bear the blame.

And then there is the enduring and perhaps most frightening lesson of Vietnam:

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The Payoff

found online by Raymond

From Green Eagle:

It is clear to all of us, at this point, that Donald Trump is both too stupid and too deranged to formulate and carry out any long term policy to destroy the country. But the orders are coming from somewhere.

Virtually no one yet- not even the left wing blogs I read- has been willing to state openly what is going on here, so I’ll take the fall. Call me deranged; call me a lunatic conspiracy theorist if you want; I’ve been called that off and on for decades as I have chronicled the Republican efforts to plunder our country, and I have been proven right every time. I know I am right this time too, even if some people are going to have to wait a couple of decades to see it.

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Zero-Based Budgeting Would Pull Back the Curtain on Spending

found online by Raymond

From Wisconsin conservative James Wigderson:

One hundred and thirty-two elected officials vote on the state budget, but not every dollar of the $76 billion spent is justified to the public. In fact, the majority of state spending is hidden in the ‘base’ of the budget. What legislators discuss during budget debates centers largely on the adjustments to the base – usually how much should the legislature increase the funding for each government program. This most recent budget increased spending by a whopping $3.2 billion without questioning the base budget of each agency.

Every day, families and businesses are forced to hand over a percentage of their earnings to pay for government at all levels. As elected officials, we must more judiciously apportion the scarce and precious resources funneled to government by taxpayers – just as families and businesses must make the tough choices in their own budgets.

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Public Doesn’t Support Trump Actions On Obamacare

found online by Raymond

From Ted McLaughlin at jobsanger:

The effect of those orders is that many Americans will lose their insurance, and the others will see their insurance costs rise sharply. Trump’s hatred of Obama (and the insurance plan he passed) has caused him to make the health insurance system in the U.S. significantly worse. Now, he must own the failing system — failing mainly due to his own actions.

And he may have hurt his party in next year’s elections. The public didn’t want his actions.

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The Ethical Knob: Ethically-Customizable Automated Vehicles

found online by Raymond

From The Journal of Improbable Research:

Vehicles could be fitted with what they call an ‘Ethical Knob’, under a proposal by Giuseppe Contissa, Francesca Lagioia, and Giovanni Sartor of CIRSFID, at the University of Bologna, Italy. The device might help clarify ethical/legal issues with Autonomous Vehicles (AVs). What for example, should a self-driving car do when it ‘realizes’ (in an impending crash situation) that it could swerve to avoid a large group of pedestrians but in the process kill the driver and passengers?

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David Brooks Says Trump’s Sabotage Might Turn Out Great For Everybody

found online by Raymond

From driftglass:

Every now and then a nondescript little man from Wingnut Central Command shows up at Mr. David Brooks’ door to remind him that it is time once again to renew his Conservative credentials. It is a brief but critical ritual upon which Mr. Brooks’ entire professional life literally depends. After all, it isn’t the word “American” or “author” or “political and cultural commentator” in his CV that The New York Times shells out crazy money to slap on it’s op-ed page every week:

David Brooks is a conservative American author as well as political and cultural commentator who writes for The New York Times.

It’s the word “conservative” they’re renting. It is the word “conservative” which has given Mr. Brooks entree to the corridors of power, gigs on NPR, PBS and NBC, book contracts and a job-for-life at the NYT which pays for Mr. Brooks’ various hearths and homes and travels and book tours.

So every now and then he needs to get his “conservative” card punched again. And of course, given the nature of Conservatism, this means he needs to say something horrible and blatantly untrue in some public forum somewhere. This time around, the forum was The News Hour, and the horrible and blatantly untrue thing was this:

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