Category Archives: Politics and Culture

Take it on faith

Posted by Lex, on November 4, 2007

 

People of all religions are often asked to accept some plainly contradictory things. For those unwilling to reconcile the irreconcilable there has always been the “spiritual but not religious” path, which for many – but by no means all – offers at least a kind of feel-good metaphysical gravitas without all of that hierarchy, organization and obligation.

For those unwilling to go even so far as that, there has at least been Global Warming, which offers them not just the chance to feel righteous about themselves, but also – and this is crucial for your true zealot – to feel superior to someone else. And that’s before the right-thinking set gets all weak in the knees at the notion of first world to third world transfer payments.

Sort of like purchasing an indulgence.

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Everybody knows

Posted by Lex, on November 13, 2007

 

Everybody knows that rising income inequality causes social tensions which threaten our democratic, free market experiment.

As is all-too-often true though, everybody is wrong:

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The “root cause” thing

Posted by Lex, on November 13, 2007

 

Princeton professor Alan Kreuger analyzes those factors contributing terrorism and reaches some interesting conclusions: The decision to murder other people – even oneself – in the name of an extremist vision does not come readily to the dispossessed, unemployed or illiterate. There are no “root causes” to terror in either personal or national poverty.  Relatively speaking, the roots of terror are rather found in  economic entitlement and education cross-referenced with stifled political expression in particular, and civil rights in general:

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How SCOTUS will save liberalism

Posted July 9th, 2007 by lex

 

In this week’s Economist magazine, US political editor “Lexington” – it’s almost perfect, that name – points out how the Supreme Court’s recent conservative tilt may actually save the liberal movement from its most self-destructive tendencies, including a marked preference for skipping past the democratic process of dialogue and open debate in favor of judicial imposition of “preferred” solutions:

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Casca’s right

Posted on June 28th, 2007 by lex

 

For those who don’t keep track of comments ** , this read by J.D. Johannes is well worth your time:

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Rage Boy?

Posted June 28th, 2007 by lex

 

Pace Chris Hitchens, I don’t think the Srinigar Steamer is really angry – I just think he’s misunderstood:

Rage Boy keenly looks forward to anger, while we worriedly anticipate trouble, and fret about etiquette, and prepare the next retreat. If taken to its logical conclusion, this would mean living at the pleasure of Rage Boy, and that I am not prepared to do.

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Knowing the enemy

Posted August 9th, 2007 by lex

 

“Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.” – Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”

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