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.
We examined the effect of an image of a pair of eyes on contributions to an honesty box used to collect money for drinks in a university coffee room. People paid nearly three times as much for their drinks when eyes were displayed rather than a control image. This finding provides the first evidence from a naturalistic setting of the importance of cues of being watched, and hence reputational concerns, on human cooperative behaviour.
Liberal Joel Stein admits he doesn't love America. That explains a lot. He seems to like Sweden, partly for their sexual "freedom." So leave, Joel, and get your recreational sex! Sweden happily accepts immigrants, but they seem to prefer Moslems. Sweden and Moslems: Perfect Together.
"If you look at three- to five-year-olds, when they do something naughty, they have an intuition that everyone knows they've been naughty, regardless of whether they have seen or heard what they've done," says anthropologist-turned-psychologist Pascal Boyer. His tests on children "go some way to proving our natural tendency to believe," reports Guardian Unlimited [via Arts & Letters Daily] in an article that asks the question "Why has belief proved so resilient as scientific progress unravels the mysteries of plagues, floods, earthquakes and our understanding of the universe?" Boyer continues re those youngsters who think everyone knows they've had their hand in the cookie jar . . .
Actually you reap the benefits from the finance boondoggle, just as you reap the benefits of free trade (try making your own shoes and grow your own food and sew your own clothing and see what self-sufficiency does for your standard of living).
The finance boondoggle also moved capital from where it was not needed to where it was needed more, making the standard of living of the world higher than it would be otherwise.
The politicians put out a false carrot of need, is all; but you still benefitted from the system. Now you pay for voting for the politicians.
"They do love America more. Sure, we liberals claim that our love is deeper because we seek to improve the United States by pointing out its flaws. But calling your wife fat isn't love. True love is the blind belief that your child is the smartest, cutest, most charming person in the world, one you would gladly die for. I'm more in "like" with my country."
As a combat vet, and a husband, I know that true love isn't believing your child is all that and a bag of Kettle Chips, or calling your wife fat, or 'blind allegiance to whatever my country does.' It's loving your wife knowing damn well those pants don't fit, and loving your child more than anything while encouraging him to live up to his full potential, in spite of his inability to do math, play Bach, or throw a football. It's loving your country and biting your lip and saying, "well, I don't agree with how the fight started, but we're in it, and now it's us against you."
As an American, I think the country has a lot of problems. I do some work to try to fix some of them. I still love the country surpassingly. Having seen up close a lot of other liberal democracies as well as a lot of more hellish places, I know how good we have it. Our evils are of lesser magnitude than most other nations' evils. I can live with that.
Stein on the other hand... Stein is the kind of guy who gives me an occasional twinge of regret that I served. He's absolutely right and I'm glad at least one of them is willing to be honest about it. Liberals laugh at us. I got shot at, and lost a couple friends, so that he could have the right to laugh his ass off and make a good living writing about what a moron I, and the rubes I served with, are. Well, to keep his gas prices low and our economy in good stead, which in turn supports mediocre journalism talents like himself. Same thing though.
In the long run, Stein and his ilk will get theirs. No nation lasts forever, no civilization lasts forever, and when the barbarians are once again ascendant, Stein and his men-of-no-tribe will be sent into the fields to starve.
A man who thinks love is blind, who thinks his wife truly is flawless or his kid is truly perfect, is a man who cannot feel real love. His version of love, apparently, stops at oxytocin intoxication, the selfish, dumb first blush of what love actually is. I'm glad I'm not his wife or girlfriend or kid; the realization that he can only actually love an illusion, that his version of love is the shallowest and least durable, and really all about how good he feels about himself right now, not about me at all, would be a painful blow. As for being a citizen of his country... if he's so hot for Sweden or Denmark he should move in with one of them and quit pestering my girl.
Joel, life isn't about you, and we're just not that into you, either.
re the honesty box: What I was struck by in this blurb was that such a high percentage of well paid university employess felt no need to pay. When I had a real job, I had a box full of candy bars out in my crew's breakroom. It was honor system. You put your money in a coffee can took what you wanted. It was never short. Those guys didn't make much money and had no more than a HS diploma at best, and yet they knew right from wrong better than the university people in the mentioned study.
Gosh, Al Maviva... You've just defined the difference between wise, grown-up love, and childish, self-conceited love. As you say above, "true love isn't believing that your child ... is the smartest, cutest, most charming person in the world, or calling your wife fat... It's loving your wife kinowing damn well those pants don't fit, and loving your child more than anything while encouraging him to live up to his full potential in spite of his inability to do math, play Bach or throw a football. It's loving your country and biting your lip and saying " well, I don't agree with how the fight started, but we're in it, and now it's us against them."
There, in a nutshell, is what being an adult, being a grown-up in a world filled with self-centered egotists is all about.
Thank you for your wisdom and your kindness. May you have a happy and fulfilling New Year, and may all your troubles be "little ones."