Tag Archives: rules

Looking Ahead To 2020 and Beyond

As this year’s seemingly interminable primary season drags on, and we’ve yet to hit election season, I’ve come to realize how spoiled I was by 2012.  That year, everyone knew who the Democratic candidate was going to be (frustrati stupidity aside), and we all got to sit back in stunned disbelief at what the Republicans were doing.  This year showed that both parties nomination process is messy, and that the media gets things wrong more than ever.  So here are some things I’d like to see in the future.

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If You Take It For Granted, You’ll Lose It

Over on Salon, there’s an opinion column by a self-described “leftist feminist” who spends a lot of words justifying her “principled stand” for not voting.   Seriously?  It’s all the same garbage I’ve ever heard from every so-called leftist who thinks that not voting sends a message, and that will lead to changes and conversations.  Why is it garbage?  As I’ve said often here, if you don’t vote, you don’t matter.  No politician or political party will care about your principles, no one will be “starting a conversation” with you.  You have removed yourself from any conversations.  It’s only by voting that you get to do all that.  But in reading through numerous screeds over the past few years touting making a “principled stand” by not voting, I notice that they’re taking certain things for granted.  They shouldn’t.

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Civics 100: You Have To Know How It Works To Fix It

Back in my IT days, one of the banes of my existence was “the friend who knows something about computers.”   Hearing that phrase meant that I was in for a long, involved effort to repair not just the original problem, which would have been a quick fix, but to repair what the helpful friend had done.   I’ve run into it in other fields, and it is often put as “They know just enough to be dangerous, but not enough to know what they’re doing.”   What would cause me to think back to that?   Over the past few weeks, I’ve been running into a lot of the more rabid Bernie Sanders supporters, and what has stood out in those encounters is that they don’t understand government.  In particular, they don’t understand the government this country operates under.

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Cargo Cult Politics

In the South Pacific, there’s a set of beliefs which are known as “cargo cults.”    While they may seem ridiculous at times to Westerners, they make sense in terms of a society attempting to explain something in terms of that society.

Since the modern manufacturing process is unknown to them, members, leaders, and prophets of the cults maintain that the manufactured goods of the non-native culture have been created by spiritual means, such as through their deities and ancestors. These goods are intended for the local indigenous people, but the foreigners have unfairly gained control of these objects through malice or mistake.[9] Thus, a characteristic feature of cargo cults is the belief that spiritual agents will, at some future time, give much valuable cargo and desirable manufactured products to the cult members.[9]

Many of the rituals mimic what they saw during various times, particularly World War II.  There are “airfield,” “control towers,” and so on, all designed to influence the gods to redirect the cargo to them.   So what does that have to do with politics?

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Religious Business? Some Thoughts

The recent Supreme Court decision about Hobby Lobby being able to deny contraceptive coverage to its employees, because of … religious beliefs … has caused a major uproar.  My opinion is that it’s probably the most weasel-worded, constitutionally questionable decision the Supreme Court has reached in quite some time.   As a concept, the idea of a corporation as a person has any number of good features.  The way conservatives, and in particular this Supreme Court, have extended that to the realms of free speech and religion are not among them.   But, if corporations want to claim religious beliefs as a reason not to provide a benefit for their workers, I have an idea for making them regret it:  Make them live up to it.

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