We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...how culture wars are lost: through the slow accumulation of individually defensible but collectively unjustifiable decisions not to resist. It’s the decision that objecting during diversity training simply isn’t worth the hassle. It’s the decision not to say anything when you see a colleague or fellow student facing persecution because of their beliefs. It’s a life habit of always taking the path of least resistance, keeping your head down, and doing your best to preserve your own family and career. The small fights don’t matter anyway, right?
I recently spoke to a mid-level executive at a major corporation who had been forced to sit through mandatory “inclusivity” training. The topic was transgender rights, and the trainer proceeded to spout far-left ideology as fact, going so far as to label all who disagreed with the notion that a man can become a woman “transphobic.” I asked if anyone objected to any part of the training, and the response was immediate. “Are you crazy? No one wants to deal with HR.”
...trade is a good thing, but only when it is a net positive to the American people as a whole. Deals that allow plutocrats to shift their costs to the public so they can privatize profits are not good deals. Trump pointing that out does not make him a protectionist. It makes him a realist. It’s the innumerate phonies, clutching their copies of Atlas Shrugged, desperately trying to shut off these debates, who are divorced from reality. Trade, like all pubic policy, is about trade-offs. Those trade-offs are debated in a healthy society.
are they aware that someone (probably not them ) is paying for them to go there? Except for the one that dropped out already.
Is someone forcing them to live in such a horrible environment? Then why does every single teacher, school administrator and guidance counselor basically insist that EVERYONE HAS TO GO TO COLLEGE if it sucks so badly?
Since its much-vaunted "pivot to Asia" a few years back, Washington’s undeclared policy has been to counterbalance Beijing’s growing geopolitical ambitions in the region. However, if Beijing manages to take possession of the Spratlys, Paracels, and other disputed islands, banks, and reefs without a fight, it will have successfully called Washington’s bluff. America’s allies in the region will wonder if the U.S. will do anything to come to their defense. It will make the next item on China’s wish list that much easier to acquire.
That such a wish list exists, can be glanced from the new passports China introduced in 2012. They’re watermarked with a map of China that not only includes Taiwan (as could be expected), but also the disputed maritime areas in the South China Sea, and some territories also claimed (and currently administered) by India.
+ Russia’s Far East
+ The entire Korean peninsula
+ The Ryukyu Islands (a much wider range than the currently disputed Senkaku Islands)
+ Taiwan (aka the "Republic of China" – with its own irredentist claims, see #221)
+ The South China Sea
+ All the currently independent nations of Southeast Asia, i.e. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma/Myanmar, Malaysia, and Singapore
Tainter’s theory, to simplify things quite a bit, is that as societies grow they become more complex, slapping on layer after layer of institutions, regulations and customs to deal with challenges (and, I suspect, to facilitate the ruling classes’ extracting resources from the ruled).
Over time, these layers grow more and more rigid and take more and more of the society’s resources. It’s hard to change them because every layer of complexity represents some group’s livelihood or claim on power. Eventually, the society is devoting almost all its resources to maintaining these institutions and has very little reserve left to deal with the unexpected. The result is that challenges that it would have weathered easily in the past are now sufficient to bring it to an end.
"Tainter’s theory, to simplify things quite a bit, is that as societies grow they become more complex, slapping on layer after layer of institutions, regulations and customs to deal with challenges (and, I suspect, to facilitate the ruling classes’ extracting resources from the ruled)."
I very much doubt the increasing complexities have much to do at all with facilitating "the ruling classes’ extracting resources from the ruled". Autocratic rule - whether oligarchic or aristocratic - is actually a fairly straightforward business, particularly the more authoritarian it gets.
If anything, what creates complexity in society is a combination of demographic (sociopolitical), technological and economic advancements which necessitate ever more intricate regulatory processes.
Indeed, it strikes me that a modern, wealthy democracy is probably one of the most complex institutions that there is.
You know who has courage right now? Trump. He is the only one to take this political correctness garbage on. He doesn't care what he says and whether it's politically correct (in either direction). That's why he has the ratings he does.
Maybe if he succeeds others will come out as well.
Why Italian merry widows perk up after husbands die.
I am reminded of the trip to Italy a family friend made with her aunt/stepmother. The friend was almost 60; her aunt/stepmother was close to 80. Both were fluent in Italian, so the language wouldn't have been a problem. Before the trip, the friend was worrying that the trip wasn't a good idea. Her aunt/stepmother replied: "Of course we'll have a good time on the trip. We won't have any men along." [quoted as "We no-have-a men"}