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Friday, November 23, 2012

Would you really rather depend on your fellow man (the secular triumvirate of neighbors, church and charity) to provide assistance when those "other circumstances" kick in?





I don't know the answer (to the original question) but existential burden is non-uniformly distributed among families. That, coupled with declining wages since 2000, defines a demographic that is struggling, not for lack of abortion doctors and personal discipline, but the elusive (and controversial) "other" circumstances. Republicans say "That's life. Deal with it." Dems say "Yes It Is - And we are."

Yes, Virginia, there are Other Circumstances, and, no, they are not all immaculately conceived by poor decision-making.

The minority (and Caucasian) gangs that threaten urban stability should not be conflated with the middle class, which is exactly what the Republicans did in the recent election. (This might be the first presidential election that was lost out of sheer rudeness.) How big is the middle class? Say, approximately, 100% - 1% (rich) - 47% (poor) = 52% of households that depend on income over capital gains (and carried interest.)

Conservative commentary says the State is evil because it is coercive. Choice and the freedom of self-determination are compromised in the exchange for material comfort: The Faustian Bargain. My question is this: would you really rather depend on your fellow man (the secular triumvirate of neighbors, church and charity) to provide assistance when those "other circumstances" kick in? Not me. Hell fucking no. Those who consider federal privacy invasiveness alarming and inappropriate have obviously never resided in Small Town USA where everyone from the mayor to the animal control technician knows what size garbage bags you prefer.

61 comments:

  1. Like the lady said, Hell, fucking no!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, really? You would rather have a 'safety' net provided by the government as opposed to a private sector/charity model?

      Interesting!

      Delete
  2. :)

    I've been around so long that I remember when an "animal control technician" was the dogcatcher.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You didn’t build that, Doris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. eh? Feeling a little bitter, bitch?

      Delete
    2. It looks (and reads) a lot like something Doris would build.

      Delete
    3. Ash is the one sounding bitchy.

      Delete
    4. .

      Bitch?

      Sounds like Ash has his bad on tonight.

      :)

      .

      Delete
    5. Just picking his nose again.

      Delete
  4. I read a few thought on "The Republican Brain," earlier.

    But we shouldn’t let go that easily. Reading Mr. Rubio’s interview is like driving through a deeply eroded canyon; all at once, you can clearly see what lies below the superficial landscape. Like striated rock beds that speak of deep time, his inability to acknowledge scientific evidence speaks of the anti-rational mind-set that has taken over his political party.

    By the way, that question didn’t come out of the blue. As speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Mr. Rubio provided powerful aid to creationists trying to water down science education. In one interview, he compared the teaching of evolution to Communist indoctrination tactics — although he graciously added that “I’m not equating the evolution people with Fidel Castro.” Gee, thanks.

    [..]

    But the same phenomenon is visible in many other fields. The most recent demonstration came in the matter of election polls. Coming into the recent election, state-level polling clearly pointed to an Obama victory — yet more or less the whole Republican Party refused to acknowledge this reality. Instead, pundits and politicians alike fiercely denied the numbers and personally attacked anyone pointing out the obvious; the demonizing of The Times’s Nate Silver, in particular, was remarkable to behold.

    What accounts for this pattern of denial? Earlier this year, the science writer Chris Mooney published “The Republican Brain,” which was not, as you might think, a partisan screed. It was, instead, a survey of the now-extensive research linking political views to personality types. As Mr. Mooney showed, modern American conservatism is highly correlated with authoritarian inclinations — and authoritarians are strongly inclined to reject any evidence contradicting their prior beliefs. Today’s Republicans cocoon themselves in an alternate reality defined by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, and only on rare occasions — like on election night — encounter any hint that what they believe might not be true.


    Can Republicans Do Science?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the same crap that "progressives" periodically roll out. It's the same kind of thinking that Eugenics started.

      Delete
    2. .

      As Mr. Mooney showed, modern American conservatism is highly correlated with authoritarian inclinations — and authoritarians are strongly inclined to reject any evidence contradicting their prior beliefs. Today’s Republicans cocoon themselves in an alternate reality defined by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, and only on rare occasions — like on election night — encounter any hint that what they believe might not be true.

      True enough.

      On the other hand,

      Chris Matthews
      Ed Schultz
      MSNBC
      Daily Kos
      Newsweek
      NPR
      Katrina Vanden Hueval
      Media Matters
      Kieth Olberman
      Etc. ad infinatum

      Need I say more?

      And on the authoritarian inclinations, do you really want to open up that comparison?

      .

      Delete
    3. "...that started Eugenics."

      Delete
    4. .

      Cut it out.

      That's a Mississippi patois not eubonics.

      :)

      .

      Delete
  5. I'm shocked. I almost didn't post it.

    As Rufus says, doesn't mean I want to take a warm shower with the Dems, but they "appear" to have some modicum of control over their fringe, unlike the Republicans.

    Not long ago I spent an eternity that I guess lasted about 30 minutes opening up a new bank account for my mother with Nurse Ratchet who kept calling her "hon." As the torture was about to close, Ms Ratchet looked over at me to explain the 20 or so bill payees I would have to port over to the new account. I've been in a perpetual state of shock since about 1989 and this was no different. First I was stunned that the institution did not provide a service to port over all the direct transactions. Second, I was shocked that this little snip of a shit intended to "instruct" me in a "how to" lesson after I had been paying her bills for close to six months. And third, that little Ms snip-shit had access to all the revenue and expenditure streams. The family accounts were fully accessible to this little - my list of pejoratives is running dry. I am a year shy of 60 and I walked in with my mother to discuss the new account. Ms. dip-shit looked at my 82-yr old mother and said "who's this little gal with you today?"

    I didn't build that Jenny? What the fuck do I care about that stupid remark?

    I'm going to watch my movie now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that isn't the worst of it, which I wouldn't dream of describing on a public forum. I would rather shoot myself, than rely on "community" for help.

      Delete
    2. So, in your view, should the gov belly up or simply let folk like you suffer their pride?

      Delete
    3. "...they "appear" to have some modicum of control over their fringe, unlike the Republicans."

      How something "appears" depends on one's perspective.

      Delete
    4. .

      Control over their fringe?

      Yes, I guess, that is if you consider ignoring it control.

      .

      Delete
    5. I believe the Democratic party is the fringe.

      Delete
    6. or simply let folk like you suffer their pride?

      You pathetic little fool. Pride is not the subject except in your minimalist world view.

      Delete
    7. Obama is basically an Alinskiite Marxist. That was the fringe back when I grew up.

      Delete
  6. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, said in a statement that the edicts raise "concerns" for many Egyptians and for the international community, adding that the country's revolution had aimed in part to prevent too much power from being concentrated in one person's hands.

    The U.S. urged "all Egyptians to resolve their differences over these important issues peacefully and through democratic dialogue," she said.
    Amnesty International, the London-based rights group, said Morsi's new powers "trample the rule of law and herald a new era of repression."


    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/11/23/opponents-egypt-islamic-president-clash-with-backers-over-new-powers/#ixzz2D6fMAYd3

    -------------------------------------------------
    So, do we side with the MB strongman, our new BFF?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      You'll have to wait until Hillary sticks her finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing.

      .

      Delete
    2. It's all part of the democratic Arab spring evolution of the Egypt that Hillary said was so stable shortly before it imploded. It will end either in a severe repression or a civil war, probably the former.

      Delete
  7. from the link:

    Coming back to the age of the earth: Does it matter? No, says Mr. Rubio, pronouncing it “a dispute amongst theologians” — what about the geologists? — that has “has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.” But he couldn’t be more wrong.

    We are, after all, living in an era when science plays a crucial economic role. How are we going to search effectively for natural resources if schools trying to teach modern geology must give equal time to claims that the world is only 6.000 years old? How are we going to stay competitive in biotechnology if biology classes avoid any material that might offend creationists?

    And then there’s the matter of using evidence to shape economic policy. You may have read about the recent study from the Congressional Research Service finding no empirical support for the dogma that cutting taxes on the wealthy leads to higher economic growth. How did Republicans respond? By suppressing the report. On economics, as in hard science, modern conservatives don’t want to hear anything challenging their preconceptions — and they don’t want anyone else to hear about it, either.

    So don’t shrug off Mr. Rubio’s awkward moment. His inability to deal with geological evidence was symptomatic of a much broader problem — one that may, in the end, set America on a path of inexorable decline.

    ReplyDelete
  8. .

    Paul Krugman's next nobel prize will likely be in the physical sciences, geology or possibly biotechnology.

    .


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking cosmology.


      Why is Rubio taking such a hit, when what he said wasn't all that bad, and Obama said exactly the same thing?

      Delete
  9. Human nature being what it is, anyone, in a deep and desperate situation will learn a hard lesson expecting meaningful private charity that will provide meaningful help.

    Think not, listen to any right wing radio show for the gleeful advertising on how much easy money can be made in trading in foreclosed houses.

    “Clearing out the market” is the equivalent family value of being “taken out.”

    ReplyDelete
  10. My question is this: would you really rather depend on your fellow man (the secular triumvirate of neighbors, church and charity) to provide assistance when those "other circumstances" kick in? Not me. Hell fucking no. Those who consider federal privacy invasiveness alarming and inappropriate have obviously never resided in Small Town USA where everyone from the mayor to the animal control technician knows what size garbage bags you prefer.

    Just look at the private charity proved by Joe Biden as he lives in some of the best public housing on the planet or the “Aren’t I wonderful?” benefit concerts given by the cause de jour crowd instead of opening their check book when tragedy strikes.

    It is a tough question.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Replies
    1. .

      It's a good question and the answer is obviously no.

      However, you Deuce, take it to the simplistic reducio ad absurdum restricting your comments to Biden and Bono and vultures on Wall Street while ignoring the work done by the numerous legitimate charities in the US and around the world.

      .

      Delete
  12. I fail to see how society can be made responsible for every last poor choice a person makes. Take Vegas. The housing prices there were absurd. Now they are not. Should society be held responsible if someone pays $500,000 for a house that looks like a 200k-er, to have a good time, and the bottom drops out?

    On the other hand, there are very definitely legitimate needs. I'm for some kind of safety net as well. The question is how far to take it. In Ohio the super of the school district was telling me of people he knew who had been sucking off society for two or three generations.

    As to the churches, it depends. For instance, the Mormons are pretty good, but don't rely on the Lutherans. I imagine if you were Amish you'd make it through.

    There isn't any perfect answer.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The number of people who have gone bankrupt gambling is legion. Maybe the Casinos ought to be made responsible in this last resort.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Not sure about that, but it is a dirty business. On another matter JR is dead:

    Actor Larry Hagman, of Dallas fame, dies at 81 after battle with cancer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was he able to take the fame and the fortune with him? Pastor B. says he's never seen the family safe buried with the deceased yet, after all his many funerals.

      Delete
  15. The annual ‘Running with the Black Friday Shoppers’ open thread
    Share
    By Doug Powers • November 23, 2012 01:06 PM



    http://michellemalkin.com/2012/11/23/running-with-black-friday-shoppers/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "And people wonder how Obama got re-elected?"

      comment

      Delete
  16. “There is not a soul who does not have to beg alms of another, either a smile, a handshake, or a fond eye”

    John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton (Lord Acton)




    “You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”

    C.S. Lewis

    ReplyDelete
  17. Out of the dark
    20 November 2012

    by Lawrence Krauss

    Cosmos Online

    Physics has drastically altered our picture of reality, and continues to throw us some curve balls.

    Single page print view
    Physics Lawrence Krauss

    "Nature has a way of surprising us, so it’s vitally important to realise that science cannot proceed by pure thought and logic alone. Without the guidance of experiment, scientists are like those who choose to immerse themselves in sensory deprivation tanks." – Lawrence Krauss

    Credit: iStockphoto

    Related articles

    Dark matter exists: scientists finally find proof
    Doubts about universe's dark side
    What is dark matter?
    Scientists see dark matter web between galaxies
    "Warm" dark matter lights up earliest stars

    WHEN SITTING ALONE at night, my thoughts often turn to dark topics. By this, I mean dark matter and dark energy. In the 30 years since I completed my PhD in physics, the world has changed a great deal, for better and for worse. On the negative front, I never would have imagined we would still be battling ignorant religious fundamentalism within my own country.

    On the plus side, we have obtained more information about the cosmos in my lifetime than I would have believed possible. Our picture of reality has dramatically altered from what it was when I was a graduate student. In some cases, things we were virtually certain of turned out to be wrong; in others, the boldest and wildest extrapolations have sometimes turned out to be right on the money. In all cases, the universe has surprised us.

    One of the things we don’t emphasise enough when writing about science is that most theoretical proposals about nature, made in advance of experiment, are wrong. Nature has a way of surprising us, so it’s vitally important to realise that science cannot proceed by pure thought and logic alone. Without the guidance of experiment, scientists are like those who choose to immerse themselves in sensory deprivation tanks. They inevitably tend to veer off into hallucination. So it is all the more telling when new unexpected clues about nature come from observations, or when some of our creative imaginings turn out to reflect the way nature really works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ONE OF THE EXOTIC surprises physics has thrown at us in the past 30 years is the concept of dark matter. Dark matter was first inferred by Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky in 1933 when trying to figure out what stopped galaxies in massive clusters from flying apart. When I was a student, in the 1970s, the case for dark matter was suggestive, but not compelling. As a particle physicist, I became fascinated by the idea that particles could naturally be produced in the early universe with the necessary abundance and characteristics of dark matter today. But the game was wide open.

      Neutrinos, which after all are known to exist, still seemed like a good bet to be dark matter particles, but it was still possible that our estimates about the amount of dark matter were wrong, and maybe it could be made up of boring things that simply don’t shine as brightly as stars or hot gas, such as planets.

      Now, there is compelling evidence that cold dark matter is real; from direct measures of mass in galaxies and clusters, calculations of the abundance of light elements produced in the Big Bang, measurements of large-scale structure coming from millions of galaxies, and remarkable observations of the primordial seeds of structure observed in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation from the Big Bang.

      Observations of colliding galaxies suggest very convincingly not only that dark matter exists in profusion; but also that it cannot be made of normal matter. Moreover, candidates for dark matter may be on the verge of detection by direct detectors of the sort that I and others proposed more than 25 years ago, or perhaps may be produced in the coming years at the Large Hadron Collider.

      Another satisfying, if initially perplexing, discovery that took me by surprise is that the universe is flat (rather than curved, or ‘open’. This rather complex idea essentially says we can follow a triangular path from point a to b to c and back to a, with the angles adding, as would be expected, to 180 degrees). I remember when I was a young professor at Yale University in Connecticut, one of my senior colleagues, an observational astronomer, told me of a theorem he was pretty certain was true: the universe would conspire to ensure that we couldn’t accurately measure any fundamental cosmological parameter.

      Delete
    2. After decades of false claims and false starts he had reason to be jaded. All of that has changed. Twenty-five years ago, observers were certain that there was not enough matter in the universe to produce a geometrically flat 3-D space – space must be ‘open’ or negatively curved. Theorists, on the other hand, were certain the universe was flat, because mathematically that was the only possibility that made sense. I wouldn’t have dreamed we would directly measure the geometry of the universe in my lifetime. But, once again thanks to new observations of the CMB we have done so, to an accuracy of 1%.

      We theorists cannot pat ourselves on the back too much for our correct guess about geometry, however, because we were completely wrong about what it is that makes the universe flat. We thought it was lots of dark matter. Instead, in the biggest surprise in a century, it was discovered that empty space apparently accounts for more than 70% of all of the energy in the universe. And we don’t have the slightest idea why!

      Our earlier calculations had suggested that if the energy of space wasn’t zero, it had to be 120 orders of magnitude larger than the energy of everything we see, which was so ridiculous (and observationally impossible) that we figured it must be zero. So we could sleep at night. But we were wrong.

      The fact that empty space has energy has changed everything: not only our understanding of the current universe, but also its future. Nothing prepared us for this shock, and it could take us a long time before we understand the origin of this energy of nothing.

      Delete
    3. ONE OF THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL questions in cosmology is: where do the primordial lumps that form galaxies, stars, planets, and eventually us, come from? Thirty years ago, there wasn’t any theoretical clue, and observationally we were also in the dark, at least metaphorically. In the intervening period, a fundamental idea called inflation not only allowed a possible explanation of a flat universe, but also predicted that quantum mechanics in the early universe could have resulted in all the structures we now observe.

      Then, in 1992, we discovered that nature had been unexpectedly kind to us. Against all odds, the CMB radiation turned out to be unpolluted by other astrophysical sources so that we could observe its fine structure and get direct information about the early universe. These observations have confirmed our ideas about dark matter, dark energy and the formation of structure. Additionally, the primordial hot and cold spots we see have precisely the distribution that inflationary models predicted. Have we proved inflation yet? No, but things are looking very good.

      Things look good also for the belated appearance of the Higgs boson, predicted by several theorists, including British physicist Peter Higgs, in 1964. I admit I was betting against this. The idea that an otherwise invisible background field exists throughout space, whose interactions with most elementary particles moving through the field gives them their observed masses, just seemed too slippery, and too simple to be true.

      But, if you slap space hard enough at one point, quantum mechanics says you should produce particles associated with the Higgs field, and that is apparently what has happened at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. If this is confirmed, it will not only cap the greatest intellectual adventure humans have ever undertaken, but also confirm another fascinating feature of the universe: our existence is essentially an accidental by-product of the state the universe cooled into, and the key determinants of our present and future reside in what otherwise appears to be empty space.

      Science fiction writers couldn’t imagine a universe more remarkable than the one we live in. What surprises await in the next 30 years? If I knew, they wouldn’t be surprises.

      Delete
    4. our existence is essentially an accidental by-product of the state the universe cooled into

      One might argue against this, substituting the word necessary for accidental.

      At any rate, the point is, we don't know much, and therefore the humility of a Rubio or an Obama may not be so silly, even though it offends some.



      http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/features/online/6183/out-dark?page=0%2C0

      Delete
    5. .

      The agnostic position stated succinctly.

      Well played, Bobbo.

      Delete
    6. our existence is essentially an accidental by-product of the state the universe cooled into

      Agnostics don't necessarily argue accident, although some do, but the larger argument is ignorance, most commonly, that man's sensory perceptions are not adequate to experience god, which is why gad (allegedly) manifested himself as Jesus Christ. So the story goes. The people who argue accident are more atheist than agnostic.

      Atheists (no) --> Agnostics (don't know) --> Believers (which branch out into multiple spectra of beliefs)

      Which is not even to get into the deist - theist divide. Deists do not uniformly map into the accident crowd.

      Delete
    7. blert@BC claims to have formulated a proof based on angular momentum that dark matter is a hoax.

      Delete
    8. .

      Obviously, the article linked by Bob doesn't make the case for agnosticism; however his nuanced response

      our existence is essentially an accidental by-product of the state the universe cooled into [quoted from link]

      One might argue against this, substituting the word necessary for accidental.
      [Bob]

      leaves the question open. If the universe was constructed such that it necessarily operated in a particular way, then was the design accidental, part of a multi-dimensional omniverse we can merely speculate about, delivered into being by some outside force or maker, the designer if you will, or by some other unknown first cause?


      "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

      .





      Delete
    9. Then there is the argument that accident differs by little from necessity.

      In the realm of the divine.

      Delete

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Morsi, Christians, US politics, Israel, riots over the failure of police to halt riots, riots over Church riots, football riots, riots over football riots, we could easily keep the place in a continual stew from our computers.

      Delete
  19. On to more about Morsi: next thread>

    ReplyDelete
  20. .

    Why is Rubio taking such a hit, when what he said wasn't all that bad, and Obama said exactly the same thing?


    Back to the meme of the stream,

    It is the typical way the liberal left "manage their fringe".

    Ignore it and with any luck no one will notice.


    With their love of euphemisms, it might be called benign neglect.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  21. Rubio is the leftists' target du jour, Bob.

    Character assassination is standard operating procedure employed by party apparatchiks. You know - Alinsky tactics.

    ReplyDelete

  22. Which is better: private charity or government welfare? The debate generally pivots on expenses:


    Contrary to Wallis’ assumptions, private charities are generally more efficient than the government in helping the needy. Charity Navigator estimated as of 2004 that 70% of the thousands of charities they rate used at least three quarters of their budgets on programs and services rather than administration. For example, in 2009, ActionAid International USA used over 80% of its budget on anti-poverty programs. One major reason for this high effectiveness is the accountability factor. Private giving entails a high level of accountability because donors are free to direct their money. This accountability motivates private charities towards prudence.


    Administration fees for Social Security? Just over 2% to Less than 1%

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Administrative Costs for Food Stamp Program? 15.8%



      Delete
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