The government shutdown and looming threat of default have pitted House conservatives against the Republican Party’s traditional allies in the business community. Populist Tea Partiers driven by ideology care little for the pleas for sanity from banking lobbyists and the Chamber of Commerce; indeed, they wear their disregard for Big Business as a badge of honor.
Where does that leave the Koch brothers? The billionaire industrialists have funded a sprawling empire of libertarian-conservative activism; they’ve been dubbed the bankrollers of the Tea Party. Liberals frequently accuse them of seeking deregulatory policies to further their company’s financial interests. But what happens when the Tea Party’s ideological warfare threatens to plunge the U.S. economy into chaos?
The answer: The Kochs appear to be distancing themselves from the movement they’ve helped to create.
Read more. [Image: Robert Galbraith/Reuters]
I think people misunderstand, sometimes, the difference between “empathy” and “sympathy”, and this is getting us in trouble. Sympathy is closer to pity. Empathy, which is essential for being human, means that you can imagine yourself in some else’s situation, good or bad. And feeling *real* empathy, even empathy with “the enemy”, with the bottom of the barrel of humanity, with the suicide bombers, with the child molesters, with the Hitlers and the Osamas, is necessary. If you, as a human being, can’t stop and try to imagine what sort of pain and agony and darkness must have descended upon these people to twist them up so badly, you have no roadmap to untwist the circumstances under which they were created. … There can be no limit to empathy. … If you can’t go the final mile, you’re not there yet.
Pair with philosopher Judith Butler on how reading and the humanities make us more empathetic and philosopher Roman Krznaric on empathy and social change.(via explore-blog)
I didn’t risk my life in Afghanistan so I could come back and watch people go hungry in America. I certainly didn’t risk it so I could come back and go hungry. Anyone who genuinely supports cutting food stamps is not an intellectual or an ideologue – they’re a bully. And nobody likes a bully. Except other bullies. It’s time for regular Americans to stand up to these bullies. Not cower in the corner, ashamed of needing help. Because if there’s one thing life has taught me, it’s that you never know when you’ll be the one in need.
I have been pushing a very different view, as embodied in my recent book "The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Private vs. Public Sector Myths." I argue that businesses are typicallytimid — waiting to invest until they can clearly see new technological and market opportunities. And evidence shows that such opportunities come when large sums of public money are spent directly on high risk (and high cost) technological missions. This raises debt of course, but also GDP, keeping the ratio of debt-to-GDP in check.
These missions are expensive precisely because the government does much more than just solve market failures. It intervenes in both basic and applied research and even provides early stage seed finance to private companies. Indeed, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants have funded a higher percentage of early stage seed finance than private capital. This is because private finance is too risk-averse — afraid — to engage with industries characterized by high technological and market risk. The fear explains why we have seen venture capital entering, in industry after industry, only decades after the initial high risk has been absorbed by government.
Mission-oriented public investment put men on the moon, and later, lead to the invention and commercialization of the Internet, which in turn has stimulated growth in many sectors of the economy. Indeed, as I describe in the longest chapter of my book, the U.S. government has been a leading player in funding not only the Internet but all the other technologies — GPS, touchscreen display, and the new Siri voice-activated personal assistant — that make the iPhone, for example, a miracle of American technology.
Crucially, mission-oriented policies are needed today to tackle climate change and other large societal, technological challenges. But the fear that such investments will cause debt to rise too high and stymie growth — ignoring the potential positive effects on growth that these investments can make in the long run — is paralyzing governments throughout the world.
Boys are told from a young age that whatever they do will be excused under the ‘boys will be boys’ mantra, and that ‘boys will be boys’ mentality leads to what I call the ‘boiling frog’ problem of women’s sexual boundaries. I call it that because if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump right out, but if you put a frog into a pot of room-temperature water and slowly heat it to a boil, the frog will acclimate as it heats and never jump out, eventually boiling to death. Similarly, when we learn as young girls to tolerate ‘low-level’ boundary violations like the ones we often are forced to suffer in silence at school, at home and on the street – bra-snapping, boob-grabbing, ass pinching, catcalling, dick flashing ‘all in good fun’ relentless violations that adults and authorities routinely ignore – it makes it harder for us to notice when even greater boundaries are being violated, eventually leading to the reality that many women who are raped just freeze and fall silent, because that’s what they’ve been taught to do over and over since day one. You tell me what’s more infantilizing: repeatedly letting boys (and grown men) off the hook for their behavior because ‘boys will be boys’ and we can’t ever expect any differently, or creating a consent standard in which all partners take active responsibility for their partner’s safety, and which acknowledges the truly diseased sexual culture we’re soaking in every day.
Origins of Religion
Nothing appears more surprising to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find, that, as Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular.
We all travel the milky way together, trees and men; but it never occurred to me until this storm-day, while swinging in the wind, that trees are travelers in the ordinary sense. They make many journeys, not extensive ones, it is true; but our own little journeys, away and back again, are only little more than tree-wavings — many of them not so much.
Government and industry have betrayed the internet, and us. By subverting the internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. The companies that build and manage our internet infrastructure, the companies that create and sell us our hardware and software, or the companies that host our data: we can no longer trust them to be ethical internet stewards. This is not the internet the world needs, or the internet its creators envisioned. We need to take it back.