Think about that: we seem to be turning into a country where crony capitalism doesn’t just waste taxpayer money but warps criminal justice, in which growing incarceration reflects not the need to protect law-abiding citizens but the profits corporations can reap from a larger prison population.
What’s great about this for the rich is that those tax breaks only strengthen their political position. Tax breaks—say, preferred rates on dividends—mean either higher taxes on everyone else or larger deficits, both of which are unpopular. Since no one can see what the government is doing, it becomes less popular. Higher taxes make people think they’re not getting their money’s worth; larger deficits make them think the government is incompetent. Either way, they get mad at the parts of government they can see, not the tax breaks that the rich benefit from. Increasing anti-government sentiment leads to what you saw in 2010 and today: the Tea Party, demonization of the federal government, and a mad race among Republicans to see who can cut rich people’s taxes by the most.
Whether this is a conscious goal of the anti-tax movement or simply a nice side benefit , it really works. In chapter 2 of The Submerged State, Mettler describes a study showing that people who benefit from visible government programs (those that are transparently delivered by government agencies, such as food stamps) are more likely to have positive views of government and its impact on their lives than people who benefit from invisible programs, even after controlling for the usual things. So you can have a program like the mortgage interest deduction that mainly helps the well-off but also helps the middle class a little—and it helps turn its middle-class beneficiaries against the federal government. If you’re Grover Norquist, what could be better than that?
The maker of “pink slime” suspended operations Monday at all but one plant where the beef ingredient is made, acknowledging recent public uproar over the product has cost the company business.
Craig Letch, director of food quality and assurance for Beef Products Inc., declined to discuss financial details. But he said business has taken a “substantial” hit since social media exploded with worry over the ammonia-treated filler and an online petition seeking its ouster from schools drew hundreds of thousands of supporters. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided school districts may stop using it, and some retail chains have pulled products containing it from their shelves.
“There’s compelling evidence that the Mormon Church leaders knowingly and wilfully misrepresent the historical truth of their origins and of the church for the purpose of deceiving their members into a state of mind that renders them exploitable,” he explained.
Park points to one of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s foundational documents, the Book of Abraham, which church founder Joseph Smith claimed to have translated from an Egyptian scroll.
After examining the translation, British Assyriologist Dr. Archibald Henry Sayce determined that it was “difficult to deal with Joseph Smith’s impudent fraud.”
“His facsimile from the Book of Abraham No. 2 is an ordinary hypocephalus, but the hieroglyphics upon it have been copied to ignorantly that hardly one of them is correct,” Sayce wrote.
No, no, surely God watches over translations of His Word to ensure that they’re accurate. That’s why the King James Bible can be taken literally at its word, right? And that’s how we know that chronicles of Jesus’ life written down hundreds of years after he died are totally accurate, right?
To the question many people ask about politics — Why doesn’t the other side listen to reason? — Haidt replies: We were never designed to listen to reason. When you ask people moral questions, time their responses and scan their brains, their answers and brain activation patterns indicate that they reach conclusions quickly and produce reasons later only to justify what they’ve decided.
The problem isn’t that people don’t reason. They do reason. But their arguments aim to support their conclusions, not yours. Reason doesn’t work like a judge or teacher, impartially weighing evidence or guiding us to wisdom. It works more like a lawyer or press secretary, justifying our acts and judgments to others.
This is a book review and goes on to discuss Haidt’s analysis of U.S. politics and the reasons many people vote Republican (against their ostensible economic interests). Lots more in the article that’s interesting and thought provoking.
I was supposed to testify today about the TSA in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. I was informally invited a couple of weeks ago, and formally invited last Tuesday:
The hearing will examine the successes and challenges associated with Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT), the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program, the Transportation Worker Credential Card (TWIC), and other security initiatives administered by the TSA.
On Friday, at the request of the TSA, I was removed from the witness list. The excuse was that I am involved in a lawsuit against the TSA, trying to get them to suspend their full-body scanner program.
‘We zijn in Nederland ooit te laat begonnen met het uitzenden van de serie, dan loop je al snel achter. En nu is het probleem dat er op Nederland 2 weinig plek is om de serie te programmeren. Door alle documentaires en andere programma’s die voor en na Nieuwsuur staan, is er pas plek vanaf begin volgend jaar.’
Een plek op Nederland 3 – waar makkelijker nieuwe series kunnen worden geprogrammeerd – is volgens hem niet mogelijk. ‘Daar past het niet. Op die zender staan series als Homeland en Dexter en heeft daarmee een ander profiel’.
Mad Men hoort op Nederland 2, bevestigt ook Gerard Timmer, hoofd van de Publieke Omroep in een korte reactie: ‘Als we het op Nederland 3 zouden programmeren zou dat de kijker van dat net verwarren. We programmeren op de profielen van de netten om kijkers ermee vertrouwd te maken. Zo weten zij welk type programma ze op welk net kunnen verwachten.’
Summary: Mad Men Season 5 can’t (“”) be broadcast in the Netherlands until next year because there’s no space on the channel it “belongs on” and putting it on one of the channels where there’s space would “confuse the audience” about the curated themes of the channels.
Here’s a simple rule: if your product isn’t a condom then don’t name it like one. What am I talking about? Let’s take a look…
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former director of the International Monetary Fund, has been charged with involvement in an organised vice ring that procured prostitutes for top-class clients, lawyers said.
Several Lille-based businessmen and police officers have been accused of taking part in the ring. Strauss-Kahn told police he did not suspect the women were prostitutes because he was introduced to them by senior police officers.
I’m shocked, shocked I say!