Here are a few items that caught my eye today.
Courtesy of a link at the Atheist With A Gun blog, I found this Facebook essay (perhaps 'diatribe' might be a better description) about Donald Trump from Eliezer Yudkowsky. I don't agree with all of it, but it's certainly an intriguing point of view - and a searing indictment of the US political process. A brief snippet:
What honorable man would even try to serve you, now? You have made the lives of politicians a living hell with their every public instant watched; and double that hell for anyone who ever wanted their words to have integrity. What Franklin Roosevelt would enjoy having every single facet of their lives scrutinized so, for one word that a journalist could consider a gaffe? What General Dwight Eisenhower, what military man of honor, would like to spend their lives saying only things that are empty and safe? In the eighteenth century, perhaps, there were few paths to greatness except to become a great politician; they would have had no choice but to endure any hell if they wanted a place in history. Today an ambitious, competent man can become a CEO and have his own private jet - so why should he instead become one more anonymous face among 435 little representatives, constantly looking over his shoulder for the press? Why bother, when he could be making billions at a hedge-fund, or founding a company, or just living quietly with his family without being hounded?
. . .
Donald Trump has come, and he is your punishment.
On the other side of the political divide, the Roberts Gun Shop blog posted this.
Again . . . word.
Daniel Greenberg opines that what we've allowed our society to become is largely responsible for the political posturing we're currently enduring. An excerpt:
Adulthood means doing things you don't want to do and discovering that they can make you the person you want to be. That's how virtue is born. Perpetual childhood prevents virtue from ever forming. Instead public life is cluttered with oversized children who have the language skills, resources and political power of adults, but none of the virtues that come with maturity.
They blame everyone else for their failures. Nothing is ever their fault. Everything is unfair. They can never admit they were wrong. Every failure adds more grievances and enemies to be blamed. They are incapable of acknowledging simple facts. Instead they lash out when they are shown why they cannot have what they want. The immature mind treats reality as a personal attack. It does not care what the truth is. It only wants its feelings validated by blaming someone, anyone else.
A childish society is an "I Want" society in which everyone wants everything and no one wants to do the hard work of getting it. The clamor of demands is negotiated through the childish hierarchies of bullying, shame, braggadocio, tears, outbursts, violence and deceit. Any social compacts or laws that interfere with "I Want" are always unfair. Anyone who doesn't agree is the enemy.
Denying a narcissist anything hurts their feelings. And so they lash out in retribution. They are immune to facts or explanations. They know what they want and they know that society isn't fair because it isn't oriented around their feelings, but they think it will be once they get their way.
Democracy can't exist under these conditions. No civil society can. Without common virtues, there can be no enduring common ground. One side makes concessions while the other celebrates its successful bullying until the first side finds its own bully. Without a consensus, winning becomes everything and the winners are those who break the most rules while complaining the hardest.
Go read the whole thing. It's worth your time.
Courtesy of a link at IOTWReport.com, we learn of a very interesting article titled 'A word from a toxicologist who defected from the federal junk science army'. It's a very useful summary of how the EPA and its 'green' pressure-group allies use junk science to fabricate 'scares' and thereby enhance their influence and control. Highly recommended reading, particularly if you follow the links provided.
I found all those articles and opinions interesting, even if I didn't agree with all of them. Submitted for your information.