College of Political Knowledge
Subject: Political Philosophy/Society/Government
I had promised one of Info Ink’s premiere readers, Quin of Quintessential Havoc (go to blogroll and visit a thoughtful blog) for some time that I would write a post on human nature…..holy CRAP! That was not as easy as one would think….there are so many aspects to the term ‘human nature’ that is was a daunting undertaking….but as I had promised……and it has been a long time in coming……so much thought…so little time…..
We hear this excuse used on oh so many levels…..it is an excuse for greed or voting results or a propensity for violence or electoral stupidity…..everything has been blamed on human nature….but what do we mean by the term? My attempt will be veiled in political philosophy or as it pertains to the endeavor of politics and governance…..there are many other ways to look at the concept…….
When I think of human nature I think of two separate definitions….they are philosophical and psychological….or a narrow and broader definition……..in the narrow sense I think of what we call desires, drives, instincts, etc…..and in the broader sense I feel is the character and nature of the human experience….now if I try to explain both in the same post my head will likely explode and neither will be defined…….
In the more narrow sense, I do not believe that there is a human nature because humans NO longer seem to possess strong instincts or drives….I cannot even see the need for self-preservation……I DO see that we humans have a great propensity to put all our decisions in the hands of others…therefore we have NO responsibility for the failure of any given idea….we can always blame the “other” guy…..
In the beginning…..human nature encompassed such things as thinking, acting and feeling….and it was said that we humans possessed these things….as an abstract theory, then these things are possible….but since we live in reality….all I can say is look at politics for an example…….thinking? Does the voting show that we actually spend any time thinking about our vote? Or acting? Does a voting rate of about 56% of a population sound like we take it seriously? Feeling? Now here is the one that we could say that we all have….a sense of feeling. And it depends on how one acts upon such feelings……
So, we are back to the original thought…..what is the concept of human nature? It is a highly subjective term…you can apply either logical to define or emotions….people today are told what their nature is by a wealth of institutions………I know that this may seem a bit incomplete but for the sake of insanity…….there are many so-called “definitions” of the term…..mine has been written and would like to hear what others have to say…….
Please take a moment today to thank all those who gave their lives in service to their country……and speaking of dead or dying…….
For about two months now the GOP has been taking lots of grief over their budget proposal that would essentially eliminate Medicare…they are on record ion the House as voting to do so…and soon in the Senate…..they are toeing the party line by supporting it…..but all the rumblings are that they really want to try and distance themselves from the proposal….look for them to try and divert the voters attention with some other manufactured issue to try and do just that…..
Well, first Eric Cantor has said that Paul Ryan should run for the Senate for Wisconsin……since he is being billed as the “Boy Genius” of the GOP, this would be a great idea….it would take him out of the media filter and give him something to focus on other than the Medicare proposal that the entire is trying quietly to run away from before the 2012 election.
Next…..a budget deal……they need to work hard to come up with a deal with Dems without killing Medicare…this is possible because almost ALL Dems are saying that the situation with Medicare needs to be addressed but in a way that protects people’s need for the program……
Lastly……A Candidate……the GOP is desperate for a real candidate…..right now they have mostly wannabes that are in love with personal appearances and light on real solutions to the country’s problems…..they have 3 sorta promising candidates……Romney and T-Paw and the one that is in the weeds…Huntsman….the problem is all 3 have a massive amount of baggage that the base is just not that into……
So, can the GOP rescue itself? YES, but only if they find a real candidate and the election season draws closer and they still have NOT found the one……,it is looking very likely that the GOP is in trouble….at least for now……
AH! Zen! My respite from the mind f*ck that is politics…..a couple of days to relax and mentally refresh……
I bitch about the fact that the GOP, the party of smaller government , is spending a lot of political capital to inject the government into the middle of people’s lives, personal lives, that is…..Newser website has a good report on this type of intrusion….
Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would forbid parents from having sex inside their homes while getting divorced. The bill is intended to reduce domestic violence and protect children until their parents’ divorce is finalized, supporters tell My Fox Boston. But critics aren’t comfortable with the idea of the government regulating parents’ sex lives. The state is also considering a separate bill that would end lifetime alimony, imposing the kind of payment caps already in effect in most states. Click here for the text of the bill.
I am sorry….but this is one of those things that falls into the category of “none of their f*cking business”! And I do wish that conservs would let the tag line of small government go….there is NOTHING small about the proposals that these state reps are trying to do…..it is the nanny state that they accuse the Dems of constantly…they need to stay out of people’s bedrooms….there is NOTHING there they need to be concerned over!
The GOP is becoming more and more silly with each passing election…the only way they can win is to LIE and LIE heavily….but I enjoy seeing the party of small government shoot themselves in the dick….
From the VOMITORIUM
The beginning of a three day Zen…..
We can blame society for many, many things….bad politicians, stupid marriage laws, greed governing the country….many things….but the Catholic Church has found a new one…..
By now the whole world knows the saga of the priest, all over the world, that are taking advantage of their position to RAPE small boys and the lack of concern by the church for these disgusting pigs….and now we have a report that blames just about everyone except the priests themselves…..this from the Politicususa website…………….
A study and report released this past week titled, “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010,” placed the blame on everyone except the clergy who perpetrated the rapes.
The report failed to place the blame on the offending priests or the Catholic Church that turned a blind eye to the problem for decades. According to Terry, “The increased frequency of abuse in the 1960s and 1970s was consistent with the patterns of increased deviance of society during that time.” She also stated that “social influences intersected with vulnerabilities of individual priests whose preparation for a life of celibacy was inadequate at that time.” So according to Terry, society was at fault for the abuse during the 60s and 70s, but she failed to find any causal relationship for the decades preceding those years or the 1980s forward to the present. It is offensive to society and the children who were victimized to designate a 20-year time span as the cause of generation’s worth of sexual abuse by priests around the world. The report was limited to clergy-rape in the United States, but worldwide sexual abuse is just as rampant. In South and Central Americancountries where Catholicism is the predominate faith, lawsuits and reports to law enforcement are virtually non-existent suggesting that the problem may be much worse than in America.
The other aspect of the report that is arguably more disgusting than blaming society for pervert-priests is the contention that priests who rape young boys are not pedophiles. Apparently, Terry believes that, “Most of the priests who had allegations of abuse, abused pubescent or post-pubescent minors.” According to Terry and the Catholic funded $1.4 million study, “the victims of pedophiles are defined in the study as being 10 years old or younger.” It is true that the study defines pedophilia as sexual abuse of children under the age of ten, and it is unfathomable that Terry and her research team delineate one year to define a heinous act by the clergy. It is important to note that for the purpose of defending the Catholic Church against litigation from victims of clergy-rape, abusing an eleven-year-old boy does not carry the stigma of pedophilia, even though the 11-year-old boys who suffered brutality at the hands of trusted priests are no less physically and psychologically damaged than a ten-year-old.
I find most religion offensive, at best…..and now this report makes me more disgusted with the Catholic Church than I am with American politics…..apparently there is NO personal responsibility within the Church….but we already knew that…didn’t we?
After 14 months of being in power, the House has taken on all issues but the ONE they ran on….JOBS! We know what they want to do to women….or what they will do to Medicare……and that they will NOT commend the Seals for their efforts to get Osama……and we definitely know what they think of the Prez health act…….but what about the jobs?
Your wait is over! The Repubs now have a jobs plan…a real one and it is in print. A Rather Sparse Jobs Plan……… look at it! ….read it and weep! It is the most vague and worthless use of 10 pages of paper…..if we remove the clip art and reduce the size of the font….it would fit on a piece of toilet paper……(Now there is an idea)……..
But at least we NOW have a GOP plan…..and let the jobs begin!
Please overlook the use of the word “ain’t”….all I can say is that I had a momentary brain fat!
I came across some news that should make a liberal smile and the radical right quote the title of this post…(it is nice to be quoted)……I found the good news while reading Alternet website……(it brought a smile to my face and before coffee)…..
Since October, Rush Limbaugh’s ratings have fallen by 33 percent and Sean Hannity’s by 28 percent, while Glenn Beck’s been dropped in several markets. Could this be indicative of a larger trend? This week Salon wonderedif their decline foretells a death whimper for the age of the extreme right talk show host.If true, this would also coincide with the public’s increasing disdain for the GOP’s economic policies, wrought by Paul Ryan’s unsustainable budget plan and last night’s unanimous vote to kill Medicare despite the wishes of their constituents. And while the extreme right pundits still enjoy a healthy amount of media coverage thanks to their willingness to drop outrageously racist, sexist, classist quoteables, it’s all countered by a recent surge of citizens getting behind boycotts, which helped result in Beck’s ouster from markets in New York, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. So, is there hope for an end to the windbag era? We can only hope. Read the full Salon piece here.
Is the sheep that listen to talk radio becoming more savvy of the political situation in this country? Or is it just their listen, all of them over 60 years of age, like their Medicare, even though I do not like the idea of a single payer system?
As consumer of the news we hear all the rhetoric about the budget….all the stuff like….If I can balance my budget, so can the government……if family work with a balanced budget then so should the government….and I am sure there is other comparisons that I am missing….but these are the most notable ones and the reader gets the drift….The Tea Party seems to be the ones with the most to say about the 2 budgets, family’s and government’s…..but all that bluster is all so much CRAP!
That is right! CRAP! Say it with me….CRAP!
But why is it crap?
A very good explanation was written by Randall Wray on the website, New Deal 2.0……..
1. The US federal government is 221 years old, if we date its birth to the adoption of the Constitution. Arguably, that is about as good a date as we can find, since the Constitution established a common market in the US, forbade states from interfering with interstate trade (for example, through taxation), gave to the federal government the power to levy and collect taxes, and reserved for the federal government the power to create money, to regulate its value, and to fix standards of weight and measurement-from whence our money of account, the dollar, comes. I don’t know any head of household with such an apparently indefinitely long lifespan. This might appear irrelevant, but it is not. When you die, your debts and assets need to be assumed and resolved. There is no “day of reckoning”, no final piper-paying date for the sovereign government. Nor do I know any household with the power to levy taxes, to give a name to — and issue — the currency we use, and to demand that those taxes are paid in the currency it issues.
2. With one brief exception, the federal government has been in debt every year since 1776. In January 1835, for the first and only time in U.S. history, the public debt was retired, and a budget surplus was maintained for the next two years in order to accumulate what Treasury Secretary Levi Woodbury called “a fund to meet future deficits.” In 1837 the economy collapsed into a deep depression that drove the budget into deficit, and the federal government has been in debt ever since. Since 1776 there have been exactly seven periods of substantial budget surpluses and significant reduction of the debt. From 1817 to 1821 the national debt fell by 29 percent; from 1823 to 1836 it was eliminated (Jackson’s efforts); from 1852 to 1857 it fell by 59 percent, from 1867 to 1873 by 27 percent, from 1880 to 1893 by more than 50 percent, and from 1920 to 1930 by about a third. Of course, the last time we ran a budget surplus was during the Clinton years. I do not know any household that has been able to run budget deficits for approximately 190 out of the past 230-odd years, and to accumulate debt virtually nonstop since 1837.
3. The United States has also experienced six periods of depression. The depressions began in 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, and 1929. (Do you see any pattern? Take a look at the dates listed above.) With the exception of the Clinton surpluses, every significant reduction of the outstanding debt has been followed by a depression, and every depression has been preceded by significant debt reduction. The Clinton surplus was followed by the Bush recession, a speculative euphoria, and then the collapse in which we now find ourselves. The jury is still out on whether we might manage to work this up to yet another great depression. While we cannot rule out coincidences, seven surpluses followed by six and a half depressions (with some possibility for making it the perfect seven) should raise some eyebrows. And, by the way, our less serious downturns have almost always been preceded by reductions of federal budget deficits. I don’t know of any case of a national depression caused by a household budget surplus.
4. The federal government is the issuer of our currency. Its IOUs are always accepted in payment. Government actually spends by crediting bank deposits (and credits the reserves of those banks); if you don’t want a bank deposit, government will give you cash; if you don’t want cash it will give you a treasury bond. People will work, sell, panhandle, lie, cheat, steal, and even kill to obtain the government’s dollars. I wish my IOUs were so desirable. I don’t know any household that is able to spend by crediting bank deposits and reserves, or by issuing currency. OK, some counterfeiters try, but they go to jail.
5. Some claim that if the government continues to run deficits, some day the dollar’s value will fall due to inflation; or its value will depreciate relative to foreign currencies. But only a moron would refuse to accept dollars today on the belief that at some unknown date in the hypothetical and distant future their value might be less than today’s value. If you have dollars you don’t want, please send them to me. Note that even if we accept that budget deficits can lead to currency devaluation, that is another obvious distinguishing characteristic: my household’s spending in excess of income won’t reduce the purchasing power of the dollar by any measurable amount.
The next time someone uses that tired old analogy between the family budget and the federal budget, remember the writings of Prof. Wray ….throw the facts in their face and then ask them to explain why they say what they say….if you are armed with facts…they will mostly likely backpedal and then run for the hills…..which as we know is the coward’s way of handling confrontation……or go to FOX for a sympathetic shoulder to lean on…..
From the VOMITORIUM
We hear all about the woes of the congress people….how they have to live in their office to save money….but there seems they are finding ways to make ends meet……
This from an article in the HuffPo…….
Four university researchers examined 16,000 common stock transactions made by approximately 300 House representatives from 1985 to 2001, and found what they call “significant positive abnormal returns,” with portfolios based on congressional trades beating the market by about 6 percent annually.
What’s their secret? The report speculates, but does not conclude, it could have something to do with the ability members of Congress have to trade on non-public information or to vote their own pocketbooks — or both.
The researchers, Alan J. Ziobrowski of Georgia State University, James W. Boyd of Lindenwood University, Ping Cheng of Florida Atlantic University and Brigitte J. Ziobrowski of Augusta State University, noted that the circumstances are ripe for abuse.
“In the course of performing their normal duties, members of Congress have access to non-public information that could have a substantial impact on certain businesses, industries or the economy as a whole. If used as the basis for common stock transactions, such information could yield significant personal trading profits,” they wrote.
That smacks of “insider trading” in my mind……let us go to the approved definition….
Insider trading is the trading by individuals with potential access to non-public information about the company. However, the term is frequently used to refer to a practice in which an insider or a related party trades based on info of non-public information obtained during the performance of the insider’s duties at the corporation, or otherwise in breach of a fiduciary or other relationship of trust and confidence or where the non-public information was misappropriated from the company…….
Sorry and I feel for the poor abused Congress people (and yes…that is sarcasm)…..They are PIGS…….but if they are trading on info that they got while serving in Congress….then they are criminals and guilty of inside trading…..this should be turned over to the DoJ immediately!
Back in the 1990′s, I wrote several pieces about what the proposed free trade acts would do to the economy in this country…I believed then that they would do NOTHING good and on the contrary would cost American jobs and loss of industry…of course, in those days I was called a commie for NOT wanting to see a free trade act….not much has changed……….I am still called a commie more likely a socialist but not many know the difference……why do I rehash the past?
Well, guess what? The Obama admin is proposing a…..wait for it……a free trade act……that is right…yet another free trade agreement……
This time it is agreement with Panama, Columbia and South Korea and the White House has said that it will create American jobs…..really? Is that not what NAFTA was suppose to do? Don’t hurt yourself…..that was the promise. Now if anyone recalls, candidate Obama said that reforming NAFTA to make it more worker friendly would be a priority for his admin…..that was pretty much a lie…there has been NO reform of NAFTA. It seems that the Obama admin has allowed corporate America to write up these newest proposals….and guess what? It will put millions of Americans back to work……REALLY?
If that is true why would they say this?
The Obama administration said on Monday that it would not seek Congressional approval of free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea until Republicans agree to expand assistance for American workers who might lose jobs as a result… The announcement puts the White House in line with Congressional Democrats who have made expanded benefits a condition of their support for the trade deals. (Quoted from the NY Times)…
Let me see if I have this right? The trade agreements will create jobs but before it goes into effect the Congress must make provisions for any job loss that is created by the agreement……..”The administration is simultaneously selling the trade deals as engines of job growth while admitting that the deals will likely kill so many American jobs that Congress must preemptively cough up money to clean up the corresponding economic wreckage.” (Quoted David Sirota in Salon.com)….
You still do not think it is all one big game in Washington? Just once I would like for the American people to get all the info before they go off half cocked….I know….a silly notion!
With his Medicare proposal going down the toilet rapidly they, meaning him, is trying a new tactic…watch!
Let me explain…..that tactic is #20 on the List of Disinformation tactics used to influence…and 20 reads….
20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.
I received the “25 Rules For Disinformation” in a e-mail…I have NO idea who wrote them but ….in my opinion they are a genius…..