Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Sunday, December 24, 2017
Saturday, December 23, 2017
Friday, December 22, 2017
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Star Wars: The Last Jedi' leans into political frayBut the latest movie, "The Last Jedi," appears to lean into the political fray, from its egalitarian message to a more specific critique of callous plutocrats.More pointedly, the mission undertaken by Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) leads them to a planet where the ultra-rich congregate at what amounts to an intergalactic casino. Moreover, it's noted that most of those one-percenters earned their money from war profiteering -- selling weapons to the First Order and Rebels alike -- while subjugating and exploiting those around them.
The pair's escape also weaves in an animal-rights theme, as the two rebels liberate a creature used for a kind of horseracing entertainment. The beast eventually wanders off free, regaining its natural state.
There's obvious irony in a money-making enterprise like "Star Wars" -- fattening the coffers of the Disney empire -- decrying capitalism run amok. Yet even if that's a minor, peripheral element in a fantasy set in a long-ago, far-away galaxy, rather than being reluctantly drawn into such debates, "The Last Jedi" signals its willingness to at least be part of the conversation by addressing issues in the here and now.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Monday, December 11, 2017
The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages and Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
I especially liked this episode.
President Mike Pence's claim that "There are more Americans working
today than ever before in American history." Now, a fact check of that
statement means you check whether it's true that more Americans work
today than ever before. A reasonable person would suspect it has a
high chance of being true if for no other reason than there are more
Americans living today than ever before.
In fact, it is factually correct to say that more Americans are
working now than ever before. The Washington Post admits this,
showcases the numbers (124 million, up from 65 million in 1968), and
says Pence is "technically correct." So they give him, quite
amazingly, three Pinocchios, their little metric that summarizes their
analysis of the truthfulness of the statement. Then they admit they
wanted to give him four Pinocchios but were constrained by the fact
that what he said was true. I'm not joking.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Monday, November 27, 2017
Friday, November 17, 2017
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Six terror-linked foreigners entered US via 'diversity lottery,' says Trump administration
30,000 visas issued to people from terror-sponsoring countries since 2007: State Department
I admit that Australia has an amazingly low murder rate, but the United States is below the global average. Country to country comparisons are not always valuable, as we are dealing with different cultures. I think that it is naive to assume that making guns illegal is going to help things. Also, the correlation between guns and murders is hard to pin down. The US murder rate went down as the number of guns more than doubled. Conservatives claim more guns means less crime.
I think that the real problem is a decline in morality. Gun violence is the symptom of a declining society as opposed to being a symptom of the availability of guns. And guess who I blame for the declining society?
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Friday, November 10, 2017
Friday, November 3, 2017
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
"The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land, for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This, say its advocates, is free labor---the just and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way for all---gives hope to all, and energy, and progress, and improvement of condition to all." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin" (September 30, 1859), pp. 478-479.
"No country can sustain, in idleness, more than a small percentage of its numbers. The great majority must labor at something productive." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin" (September 30, 1859), p. 479.
"Labor is the true standard of value." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Speech at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania" (February 15, 1861), p. 212.
"The world is agreed that labor is the source from which human wants are mainly supplied. There is no dispute upon this point." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin" (September 30, 1859), p. 477.
"I am always for the man who wishes to work." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, "Recommendation For Unidentified Man" (August 15, 1864), p. 495.
"If at any time all labour should cease, and all existing provisions be equally divided among the people, at the end of a single year there could scarcely be one human being left alive---all would have perished by want of subsistence." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, "Fragments of a Tariff Discussion" (December 1, 1847), p. 415.
"Labor is the great source from which nearly all, if not all, human comforts and necessities are drawn." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Speech at Cincinnati, Ohio" (September 17, 1859), p. 459.
"Wanting to work is so rare a merit, that it should be encouraged." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Letter to George D. Ramsay" (October 17, 1861), p. 556.
"Beavers build houses; but they build them in nowise differently, or better now, than they did, five thousand years ago. Ants, and honey-bees, provide food for winter; but just in the same way they did, when Solomon referred the sluggard to them as patterns of prudence. Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, "First Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions" (April 6, 1858), p. 437.
"Property is the fruit of labor...property is desirable...is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, "Reply to New York Workingmen's Democratic Republican Association" (March 21, 1864), pp. 259-260.
"Every man is proud of what he does well; and no man is proud of what he does not do well. With the former, his heart is in his work; and he will do twice as much of it with less fatigue. The latter performs a little imperfectly, looks at it in disgust, turns from it, and imagines himself exceedingly tired. The little he has done, comes to nothing, for want of finishing." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin" (September 30, 1859), p. 475.
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." Lincoln's First Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1861.
"Upon this subject, the habits of our whole species fall into three great classes---useful labour, useless labour and idleness. Of these the first only is meritorious; and to it all the products of labour rightfully belong; but the two latter, while they exist, are heavy pensioners upon the first, robbing it of a large portion of it's just rights. The only remedy for this is to, as far as possible, drive useless labour and idleness out of existence." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, "Fragments of a Tariff Discussion" (December 1, 1847), p. 412.
"Work, work, work, is the main thing." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Letter To John M. Brockman" (September 25, 1860), p. 121.
"And I am glad to know that there is a system of labor -> where the laborer can strike if he wants to! I would to God that such a system prevailed all over the world. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Speech at Hartford, Connecticut" (March 5, 1860), p. 7.
"If you intend to go to work there is no better place than right where you are; if you do not intend to go to work, you can not get along anywhere." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, "Letter To John D. Johnston" (November 4, 1851), p. 111.
"I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Speech at New Haven, Connecticut" (March 6, 1860), p. 24.
"...half finished work generally proves to be labor lost." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, "Communication to the People of Sangamon County" (March 9, 1832), p. 5.
"And, inasmuch [as] most good things are produced by labour, it follows that [all] such things of right belong to those whose labour has produced them. But it has so happened in all ages of the world, that some have laboured, and others have, without labour, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong, and should not continue. To [secure] to each labourer the whole product of his labour, or as nearly as possible, is a most worthy object of any good government." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, "Fragments of a Tariff Discussion" (December 1, 1847), p. 412.
"...the working men are the basis of all governments, for the plain reason that they are the most numerous..." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Speech to Germans at Cincinnati, Ohio" (February 12, 1861), p. 202.http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln97.html
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
I think that this is barking up the wrong tree. You're not getting rid of Trump, because Trump did not collude with the Russians, and there is no evidence he ever did, and even if you could prove that he did, it is not illegal. However, if you did get rid of Trump, then you are not accomplishing anything, because you are going to have Mike Pence as president. If you could get rid of Mike Pence, which would make me sad because I think Pence is truly a great guy, then you would have Paul Ryan as president. By some miracle if you got rid of Paul Ryan then you would have Orrin Hatch as president, which I only mention because for me that would be the least desirable outcome.
BTW, Pence and I graduated from the same high school. I could be almost as happy with Pence as President, but I think that Trump will actually accomplish more.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Friday, September 29, 2017
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Monday, September 25, 2017
Race relations in this country have never been better. However, various people whom I can only describe as anarchists have been trying to stir up racial divisions. The reason for this is clear. It is politically motivated. The left is a coalition of people who in one way or another see themselves as victims. There is no political left without people feeling like they are being suppressed by somebody else, so all the rhetoric we have been hearing centers around victimhood.
I think that BLM is mostly a false narrative. I say "mostly" because I am sure that people can point out a few relatively rare cases where there was an unjustified or questionable shooting. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/09/23/heather_macdonald_on_black_lives_matter_does_the_truth_matter.html
The data shows that 92% of Blacks who are killed are killed by other Blacks. http://www.politifact.com/florida/article/2015/may/21/updated-look-statistics-black-black-murders/
If people want to disrespect the flag or the national anthem then that is their free choice. This is what freedom looks like. However, if people are upset by this and choose not to watch nor attend, that is also their free choice. And if the NFL and the team owners realize that this is hurting attendence and ratings, then they are also free to do something about it, because the players are their paid employees.
There is an irony to multimillionaires disrespecting the national anthem because they are are worried about discrimination.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Friday, September 15, 2017
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Monday, September 4, 2017
The U.S. Department of Commerce opened a probe last month to determine whether to slap duties on ripe olives from Spain, after Californian producers argued their Iberian rivals receive an unfair advantage because of the EU's lavish farm subsidy scheme.
For Brussels, the case could set an alarming precedent. Under the sacrosanct Common Agricultural Policy, the EU pours about 40 percent of its budget into farm subsidies and it is highly protective of any trade investigation that questions the legality of those payments. Last year, Brussels pushed back hard against Australia's moves to put tariffs on Italian tinned tomatoes.
Washington may prove a tougher adversary than Canberra. Brussels is bracing for U.S. tariffs to be imposed as early as November, as President Trump vows to slash the trade deficit with the EU, which swelled to $147 billion last year from $61 billion in 2009.
"What we are seeing here is Trump's 'America First' attacking our agriculture policy," said Clara Aguilera García, a Spanish member of the European Parliament. "It seems Trump's policies are encouraging U.S. producers to go down a protectionist path and try to shut out foreign competition."
De Mora, head of the Spanish olive association, accused the Californians of only starting their protests after the Spaniards launched major promotions for their fruit this year.
Criticism of Europe's farming subsidies is nothing new, and the CAP is often accused of unfairly hobbling competition, particularly in emerging markets. Earlier this year, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan quipped: "The European Union pays enough subsidies to fly each cow in Europe around the world first class and still have money left over."
Friday, September 1, 2017
As a side note, "alt-right" means different things to different people. It started out just meaning constitutional conservative or Tea Party enthusiast. However, it has been co-opted by racist elements.
I'm tired saying this, but mainstream Republicans are not racist. The Republican party was the party of Lincoln and abolition. The Democrats were the party of slavery and the KKK. The Tea Party's favorite presidential candidate was Herman Cain. Republicans wanted Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice to run for President. Neither one was interested, but Republicans would have gladly put either one of them on the ticket.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Monday, August 28, 2017
Friday, August 25, 2017
Politically, we are in danger of becoming a third world country. In most places where people feel like they have very little political power, conspiracy theories run rampant; people believe that an external force or scapegoat is responsible for their oppression. So they riot in the streets.
The path we are on is a decline in civil society and a decline in civilization.
When Republicans lose, there is very little problem with the political transition. Republicans are used to losing and are used to being on the outside looking in, so they mostly have been content being the opposition party. Some people say that Republicans prefer to be the opposition party, as evidenced by their failure to lead.
However, there is an element in the extreme left that has risen up that is Marxist to the core. This element does not want to tolerate contrary opinions, because they view their opponents as oppressors, thus justifying a violent response. This is why we get calls for Trump's assassination, and actual violence.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Friday, August 18, 2017
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Monday, August 7, 2017
Another quick rundown of global warming lies. You've mentioned most of these issues in your debates with friends online.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Monday, July 3, 2017
Historically, a nation-state stipulated the primacy of a nation brought together by a common culture, which in turn went on to generate an overarching national identity strong enough to attenuate regional, ethnic or religious differences. In both their American and European systemic varieties, democratic institutions have preserved and protected the rights of the people, while the culturally grounded dominant national identity has given the nation-state its requisite resilience, while also imbuing it with the power to make demands of its citizens. So long as this shared national identity remained strong—call it patriotism, love of country, or belonging beyond one's immediate family and local community—the nation-state retained its cohesion, resting on a sense of reciprocity between the government and the citizen.
Today after decades of espousing multiculturalism and group rights buttressed by the politics of grievance, the foundations of a larger shared national identity have eroded such that governance—or better yet, governability—has become an increasingly scarce commodity across the West. We are at an inflection point, where a growing systemic disorder is stoked not just by shifts in the global power distribution, but by the progressive decline in governability. The dismantling of the core principle that the national homeland should be under the sovereign control of its people lies at the root of this problem.
The hypothesis that institutions ultimately trump culture has over the past quarter century morphed into an article of faith, alongside the fervently held belief that nationalism and democratic politics are at their core fundamentally incompatible. The decades-long assault on the very idea of national identity steeped in a shared culture and defined by a commitment to the preservation of the nation has left Western leadership frequently unable to articulate the fundamentals that bind us and that we thus must be prepared to defend. The deepening fight over the right of the central government to control the national border—which is at the core of the Western idea of the nation-state—is emblematic of this situation.